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Sample records for lethal toxin disrupts

  1. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin disrupts TCR signaling in CD1d-restricted NKT cells leading to functional anergy.

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    Sunil K Joshi

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Exogenous CD1d-binding glycolipid (alpha-Galactosylceramide, alpha-GC stimulates TCR signaling and activation of type-1 natural killer-like T (NKT cells. Activated NKT cells play a central role in the regulation of adaptive and protective immune responses against pathogens and tumors. In the present study, we tested the effect of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT on NKT cells both in vivo and in vitro. LT is a binary toxin known to suppress host immune responses during anthrax disease and intoxicates cells by protective antigen (PA-mediated intracellular delivery of lethal factor (LF, a potent metalloprotease. We observed that NKT cells expressed anthrax toxin receptors (CMG-2 and TEM-8 and bound more PA than other immune cell types. A sub-lethal dose of LT administered in vivo in C57BL/6 mice decreased expression of the activation receptor NKG2D by NKT cells but not by NK cells. The in vivo administration of LT led to decreased TCR-induced cytokine secretion but did not affect TCR expression. Further analysis revealed LT-dependent inhibition of TCR-stimulated MAP kinase signaling in NKT cells attributable to LT cleavage of the MAP kinase kinase MEK-2. We propose that Bacillus anthracis-derived LT causes a novel form of functional anergy in NKT cells and therefore has potential for contributing to immune evasion by the pathogen.

  2. LYSOSOMAL DISRUPTION BY BACTERIAL TOXINS

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    Bernheimer, Alan W.; Schwartz, Lois L.

    1964-01-01

    Bernheimer, Alan W. (New York University School of Medicine, New York), and Lois L. Schwartz. Lysosomal disruption by bacterial toxins. J. Bacteriol. 87:1100–1104. 1964.—Seventeen bacterial toxins were examined for capacity (i) to disrupt rabbit leukocyte lysosomes as indicated by decrease in turbidity of lysosomal suspensions, and (ii) to alter rabbit liver lysosomes as measured by release of β-glucuronidase and acid phosphatase. Staphylococcal α-toxin, Clostridium perfringens α-toxin, and streptolysins O and S affected lysosomes in both systems. Staphylococcal β-toxin, leucocidin and enterotoxin, Shiga neurotoxin, Serratia endotoxin, diphtheria toxin, tetanus neurotoxin, C. botulinum type A toxin, and C. perfringens ε-toxin were not active in either system. Staphylococcal δ-toxin, C. histolyticum collagenase, crude C. perfringens β-toxin, and crude anthrax toxin caused lysosomal damage in only one of the test systems. There is a substantial correlation between the hemolytic property of a toxin and its capacity to disrupt lysosomes, lending support to the concept that erythrocytes and lysosomes are bounded by similar membranes. PMID:5874534

  3. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin reduces human alveolar epithelial barrier function.

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    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin; Metcalf, Jordan Patrick

    2012-12-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness.

  4. Anthrax toxin receptor 2-dependent lethal toxin killing in vivo.

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    Heather M Scobie

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin receptors 1 and 2 (ANTXR1 and ANTXR2 have a related integrin-like inserted (I domain which interacts with a metal cation that is coordinated by residue D683 of the protective antigen (PA subunit of anthrax toxin. The receptor-bound metal ion and PA residue D683 are critical for ANTXR1-PA binding. Since PA can bind to ANTXR2 with reduced affinity in the absence of metal ions, we reasoned that D683 mutant forms of PA might specifically interact with ANTXR2. We show here that this is the case. The differential ability of ANTXR1 and ANTXR2 to bind D683 mutant PA proteins was mapped to nonconserved receptor residues at the binding interface with PA domain 2. Moreover, a D683K mutant form of PA that bound specifically to human and rat ANTXR2 mediated killing of rats by anthrax lethal toxin, providing strong evidence for the physiological importance of ANTXR2 in anthrax disease pathogenesis.

  5. Key tissue targets responsible for anthrax toxin-induced-lethality

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    Liu, Shihui; Zhang, Yi; Moayeri, Mahtab; Liu, Jie; Crown, Devorah; Fattah, Rasem; Wein, Alexander N.; Yu, Zu-Xi; Finkel, Toren; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, is lethal due to the actions of two exotoxins, anthrax lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET). The key tissue targets responsible for the lethal effects of these toxins are unknown. Here we generated cell-type specific anthrax toxin receptor capillary morphogenesis protein-2 (CMG2)-null mice and cell-type specific CMG2-expressing mice and challenged them with the toxins. Our results show that lethality induced by LT and ET occur through damage to distinct cell-types; while targeting cardiomyocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells is required for LT-induced mortality, ET-induced lethality occurs mainly through its action in hepatocytes. Surprisingly, and in contradiction to what has been previously postulated, targeting of endothelial cells by either toxin does not appear to contribute significantly to lethality. Our findings demonstrate that B. anthracis has evolved to use LT and ET to induce host lethality by coordinately damaging two distinct vital systems. PMID:23995686

  6. Antibodies against recombinant catalytic domain of lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii neutralize lethal toxin toxicity in HeLa cells.

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    Arya, Preetika; Ponmariappan, S; Singh, Lokendra; Prasad, G B K S

    2013-02-01

    Lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii (MLD 150 ng/kg) is one of the most potent Clostridial toxins and is responsible for most of the diseases including sudden death syndrome in cattle, sheep and toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing faciitis, neonatal omphalitis and gangrene in humans. Lethal toxin (TcsL) is a single chain protein of about 270 kDa. In the present study, 1.6 kb DNA fragment encoding for the catalytic domain of TcsL was PCR amplified, cloned in pQE30 UA vector and expressed in E. coli SG 13009. The expression of recombinant lethal toxin protein (rTcsL) was optimized and it was purified under native conditions using a single step Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The purified recombinant protein was used for the production of polyclonal antibodies in mice and rabbit. The raised antibodies reacted specifically with the purified rTcsL and intact native lethal toxin on Western blot. The biological activity of the recombinant protein was tested in HeLa cells where it showed the cytotoxicity. Further, the polyclonal antibodies were used for in-vitro neutralization of purified rTcsL, acid precipitated C. sordellii and C. difficile native toxins in HeLa cells. Mice and rabbit anti-rTcsL sera effectively neutralized the cytotoxicity of rTcsL and C. sordellii native toxin but it did not neutralize the cytotoxicity of C. difficile toxin in HeLa cells.

  7. Rational Drug Designing Strategies and Inhibitor Optimization: Anthrax Lethal Toxin Factor

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    Pawan Kumar Jayaswal

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin protein protective antigen, edema factor and lethal factor are secreted by Bacillus anthracis bacteria causes several adverse effects on human as well as on ruminant animals and considered as serious biological weapons. Lethal toxin protein (combination of lethal factor and protective antigen is highly lethal to the host and responsible for the disruption of signalling pathways, cell destruction, and circulatory shock. 1YQY is one of the crystal structures of lethal toxin protein. It has two domains - Anthrax_M_tox and ATLF where the hydroxymate as well as Zn cofactor are attached. Known inhibitor of the protein 1YQY was identified and downloaded from pubchem. Interaction of the inhibitors with the protein was examined through in silico docking approach with AutoDock 3.0.5 and Hex. Some of the inhibitors apparently interact with several-conserved residue in the cofactor-binding site. The docking work suggests virtual derivatives of the predicted inhibitor that can improve hydrogen bond interaction between inhibitor and protein. From structural and docking analyses, it is hypothesized that 1YQY protein interacts with azelastine molecule shows the lowest docking energy in AutoDock software.

  8. The Receptors that Mediate the Direct Lethality of Anthrax Toxin

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    Stephen H. Leppla

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Tumor endothelium marker-8 (TEM8 and capillary morphogenesis protein-2 (CMG2 are the two well-characterized anthrax toxin receptors, each containing a von Willebrand factor A (vWA domain responsible for anthrax protective antigen (PA binding. Recently, a cell-based analysis was used to implicate another vWA domain-containing protein, integrin β1 as a third anthrax toxin receptor. To explore whether proteins other than TEM8 and CMG2 function as anthrax toxin receptors in vivo, we challenged mice lacking TEM8 and/or CMG2. Specifically, we used as an effector protein the fusion protein FP59, a fusion between the PA-binding domain of anthrax lethal factor (LF and the catalytic domain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A. FP59 is at least 50-fold more potent than LF in the presence of PA, with 2 μg PA + 2 μg FP59 being sufficient to kill a mouse. While TEM8−/− and wild type control mice succumbed to a 5 μg PA + 5 μg FP59 challenge, CMG2−/− mice were completely resistant to this dose, confirming that CMG2 is the major anthrax toxin receptor in vivo. To detect whether any toxic effects are mediated by TEM8 or other putative receptors such as integrin β1, CMG2−/−/TEM8−/− mice were challenged with as many as five doses of 50 μg PA + 50 μg FP59. Strikingly, the CMG2−/−/TEM8−/− mice were completely resistant to the 5-dose challenge. These results strongly suggest that TEM8 is the only minor anthrax toxin receptor mediating direct lethality in vivo and that other proteins implicated as receptors do not play this role.

  9. Suppressive effects of anthrax lethal toxin on megakaryopoiesis.

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    Po-Kong Chen

    Full Text Available Anthrax lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. LT challenge suppresses platelet counts and platelet function in mice, however, the mechanism responsible for thrombocytopenia remains unclear. LT inhibits cellular mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs, which are vital pathways responsible for cell survival, differentiation, and maturation. One of the MAPKs, the MEK1/2-extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway, is particularly important in megakaryopoiesis. This study evaluates the hypothesis that LT may suppress the progenitor cells of platelets, thereby inducing thrombocytopenic responses. Using cord blood-derived CD34(+ cells and mouse bone marrow mononuclear cells to perform in vitro differentiation, this work shows that LT suppresses megakaryopoiesis by reducing the survival of megakaryocytes. Thrombopoietin treatments can reduce thrombocytopenia, megakaryocytic suppression, and the quick onset of lethality in LT-challenged mice. These results suggest that megakaryocytic suppression is one of the mechanisms by which LT induces thrombocytopenia. These findings may provide new insights for developing feasible approaches against anthrax.

  10. Metal Ion Activation of Clostridium sordellii Lethal Toxin and Clostridium difficile Toxin B

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    Harald Genth

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Lethal Toxin from Clostridium sordellii (TcsL and Toxin B from Clostridium difficile (TcdB belong to the family of the “Large clostridial glycosylating toxins.” These toxins mono-O-glucosylate low molecular weight GTPases of the Rho and Ras families by exploiting UDP-glucose as a hexose donor. TcsL is casually involved in the toxic shock syndrome and the gas gangrene. TcdB—together with Toxin A (TcdA—is causative for the pseudomembranous colitis (PMC. Here, we present evidence for the in vitro metal ion activation of the glucosyltransferase and the UDP-glucose hydrolysis activity of TcsL and TcdB. The following rating is found for activation by divalent metal ions: Mn2+ > Co2+ > Mg2+ >> Ca2+, Cu2+, Zn2+. TcsL and TcdB thus require divalent metal ions providing an octahedral coordination sphere. The EC50 values for TcsL were estimated at about 28 µM for Mn2+ and 180 µM for Mg2+. TcsL and TcdB further require co-stimulation by monovalent K+ (not by Na+. Finally, prebound divalent metal ions were dispensible for the cytopathic effects of TcsL and TcdB, leading to the conclusion that TcsL and TcdB recruit intracellular metal ions for activation of the glucosyltransferase activity. With regard to the intracellular metal ion concentrations, TcsL and TcdB are most likely activated by K+ and Mg2+ (rather than Mn2+ in mammalian target cells.

  11. Highly predictive support vector machine (SVM) models for anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF) inhibitors.

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    Zhang, Xia; Amin, Elizabeth Ambrose

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a highly lethal, acute infectious disease caused by the rod-shaped, Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF), a zinc metalloprotease secreted by the bacilli, plays a key role in anthrax pathogenesis and is chiefly responsible for anthrax-related toxemia and host death, partly via inactivation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK) enzymes and consequent disruption of key cellular signaling pathways. Antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones are capable of clearing the bacilli but have no effect on LF-mediated toxemia; LF itself therefore remains the preferred target for toxin inactivation. However, currently no LF inhibitor is available on the market as a therapeutic, partly due to the insufficiency of existing LF inhibitor scaffolds in terms of efficacy, selectivity, and toxicity. In the current work, we present novel support vector machine (SVM) models with high prediction accuracy that are designed to rapidly identify potential novel, structurally diverse LF inhibitor chemical matter from compound libraries. These SVM models were trained and validated using 508 compounds with published LF biological activity data and 847 inactive compounds deposited in the Pub Chem BioAssay database. One model, M1, demonstrated particularly favorable selectivity toward highly active compounds by correctly predicting 39 (95.12%) out of 41 nanomolar-level LF inhibitors, 46 (93.88%) out of 49 inactives, and 844 (99.65%) out of 847 Pub Chem inactives in external, unbiased test sets. These models are expected to facilitate the prediction of LF inhibitory activity for existing molecules, as well as identification of novel potential LF inhibitors from large datasets.

  12. Activated protein C ameliorates Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin-induced lethal pathogenesis in rats

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    Kau Jyh-Hwa

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. Sprague Dawley rats manifest pronounced lung edema and shock after LT treatments, resulting in high mortality. The heart failure that is induced by LT has been suggested to be a principal mechanism of lung edema and mortality in rodents. Since LT-induced death occurs more rapidly in rats than in mice, suggesting that other mechanisms in addition to the heart dysfunction may be contributed to the fast progression of LT-induced pathogenesis in rats. Coagulopathy may contribute to circulatory failure and lung injury. However, the effect of LT on coagulation-induced lung dysfunction is unclear. Methods To investigate the involvement of coagulopathy in LT-mediated pathogenesis, the mortality, lung histology and coagulant levels of LT-treated rats were examined. The effects of activated protein C (aPC on LT-mediated pathogenesis were also evaluated. Results Fibrin depositions were detected in the lungs of LT-treated rats, indicating that coagulation was activated. Increased levels of plasma D-dimer and thrombomodulin, and the ameliorative effect of aPC further suggested that the activation of coagulation-fibrinolysis pathways plays a role in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. Reduced mortality was associated with decreased plasma levels of D-dimer and thrombomodulin following aPC treatments in rats with LT-mediated pathogenesis. Conclusions These findings suggest that the activation of coagulation in lung tissue contributes to mortality in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. In addition, anticoagulant aPC may help to develop a feasible therapeutic strategy.

  13. Comparative toxicity and efficacy of engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants with broad anti-tumor activities

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    Peters, Diane E. [Proteases and Tissue Remodeling Section, Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Program of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA (United States); Hoover, Benjamin [Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Cloud, Loretta Grey [Proteases and Tissue Remodeling Section, Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Liu, Shihui [Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Molinolo, Alfredo A. [Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Leppla, Stephen H. [Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Bugge, Thomas H., E-mail: thomas.bugge@nih.go [Proteases and Tissue Remodeling Section, Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States)

    2014-09-01

    We have previously designed and characterized versions of anthrax lethal toxin that are selectively cytotoxic in the tumor microenvironment and which display broad and potent anti-tumor activities in vivo. Here, we have performed the first direct comparison of the safety and efficacy of three engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants requiring activation by either matrix-metalloproteinases (MMPs), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) or co-localized MMP/uPA activities. C57BL/6J mice were challenged with six doses of engineered toxins via intraperitoneal (I.P.) or intravenous (I.V.) dose routes to determine the maximum tolerated dose for six administrations (MTD6) and dose-limiting toxicities. Efficacy was evaluated using the B16-BL6 syngraft model of melanoma; mice bearing established tumors were treated with six I.P. doses of toxin and tumor measurements and immunohistochemistry, paired with terminal blood work, were used to elaborate upon the anti-tumor mechanism and relative efficacy of each variant. We found that MMP-, uPA- and dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxins exhibited the same dose-limiting toxicity; dose-dependent GI toxicity. In terms of efficacy, all three toxins significantly reduced primary B16-BL6 tumor burden, ranging from 32% to 87% reduction, and they also delayed disease progression as evidenced by dose-dependent normalization of blood work values. While target organ toxicity and effective doses were similar amongst the variants, the dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin exhibited the highest I.P. MTD6 and was 1.5–3-fold better tolerated than the single MMP- and uPA-activated toxins. Overall, we demonstrate that this dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin can be administered safely and is highly effective in a preclinical model of melanoma. This modified bacterial cytotoxin is thus a promising candidate for further clinical development and evaluation for use in treating human cancers. - Highlights: • Toxicity and anti

  14. Anthrax lethal factor cleaves mouse nlrp1b in both toxin-sensitive and toxin-resistant macrophages.

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    Kristina A Hellmich

    Full Text Available Anthrax lethal factor (LF is the protease component of anthrax lethal toxin (LT. LT induces pyroptosis in macrophages of certain inbred mouse and rat strains, while macrophages from other inbred strains are resistant to the toxin. In rats, the sensitivity of macrophages to toxin-induced cell death is determined by the presence of an LF cleavage sequence in the inflammasome sensor Nlrp1. LF cleaves rat Nlrp1 of toxin-sensitive macrophages, activating caspase-1 and inducing cell death. Toxin-resistant macrophages, however, express Nlrp1 proteins which do not harbor the LF cleavage site. We report here that mouse Nlrp1b proteins are also cleaved by LF. In contrast to the situation in rats, sensitivity and resistance of Balb/cJ and NOD/LtJ macrophages does not correlate to the susceptibility of their Nlrp1b proteins to cleavage by LF, as both proteins are cleaved. Two LF cleavage sites, at residues 38 and 44, were identified in mouse Nlrp1b. Our results suggest that the resistance of NOD/LtJ macrophages to LT, and the inability of the Nlrp1b protein expressed in these cells to be activated by the toxin are likely due to polymorphisms other than those at the LF cleavage sites.

  15. Anthrax lethal and edema toxins in anthrax pathogenesis.

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    Liu, Shihui; Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H

    2014-06-01

    The pathophysiological effects resulting from many bacterial diseases are caused by exotoxins released by the bacteria. Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming bacterium, is such a pathogen, causing anthrax through a combination of bacterial infection and toxemia. B. anthracis causes natural infection in humans and animals and has been a top bioterrorism concern since the 2001 anthrax attacks in the USA. The exotoxins secreted by B. anthracis use capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2) as the major toxin receptor and play essential roles in pathogenesis during the entire course of the disease. This review focuses on the activities of anthrax toxins and their roles in initial and late stages of anthrax infection.

  16. Protection by atropine against synergistic lethal effects of the Angusticeps-type toxin F7 from eastern green mamba venom and toxin I from black mamba venom.

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    Lee, C Y; Chen, Y M; Joubert, F J

    1982-01-01

    A large dose of atropine protected mice effectively from death due to synergistic effects of an Angusticeps-type toxin, F7, isolated from eastern green mamba venom and a trypsin inhibitor homologue, toxin I, isolated from black mamba venom. Neostigmine potentiated the combined toxicity of these two toxins. It is concluded that the synergistic lethal effect of these two mamba toxins is due to massive release of acetylcholine in vivo.

  17. Cardiac-specific catalase overexpression rescues anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction: role of oxidative stress and autophagy

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    Kandadi Machender R

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lethal and edema toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis during anthrax infection were found to incite serious cardiovascular complications. However, the underlying mechanisms in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac anomalies remain unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of antioxidant enzyme catalase in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Methods Wild type (WT and cardiac-specific catalase overexpression mice were challenged with lethal toxin (2 μg/g, intraperotineally (i.p.. Cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ properties were assessed 18 h later using an IonOptix edge-detection system. Proteasome function was assessed using chymotrypsin-like and caspase-like activities. GFP-LC3 puncta and Western blot analysis were used to evaluate autophagy and protein ubiquitination. Results Lethal toxin exposure suppressed cardiomyocyte contractile function (suppressed peak shortening, maximal velocity of shortening/re-lengthening, prolonged duration of shortening/re-lengthening, and impaired intracellular Ca2+ handling, the effects of which were alleviated by catalase. In addition, lethal toxin triggered autophagy, mitochondrial and ubiquitin-proteasome defects, the effects of which were mitigated by catalase. Pretreatment of cardiomyocytes from catalase mice with the autophagy inducer rapamycin significantly attenuated or ablated catalase-offered protection against lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte dysfunction. On the other hand, the autophagy inhibitor 3-MA ablated or significantly attenuated lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile anomalies. Conclusions Our results suggest that catalase is protective against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ anomalies, possibly through regulation of autophagy and mitochondrial function.

  18. Biochip for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Therapeutic Agents against Anthrax Toxins

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    Vitalii Silin

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLMs have been used in many applications, including biosensing and membrane protein structure studies. This report describes a biosensor for anthrax toxins that was fabricated through the self-assembly of a tBLM with B. anthracis protective antigen ion channels that are both the recognition element and electrochemical transducer. We characterize the sensor and its properties with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance. The sensor shows a sensitivity similar to ELISA and can also be used to rapidly screen for molecules that bind to the toxins and potentially inhibit their lethal effects.

  19. A toxin-antitoxin module in Bacillus subtilis can both mitigate and amplify effects of lethal stress.

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    Xiangli Wu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacterial type-2 (protein-protein toxin-antitoxin (TA modules are two-gene operons that are thought to participate in the response to stress. Previous work with Escherichia coli has led to a debate in which some investigators conclude that the modules protect from stress, while others argue that they amplify lethal stress and lead to programmed cell death. To avoid ambiguity arising from the presence of multiple TA modules in E. coli, the effect of the sole type-2 toxin-antitoxin module of Bacillus subtilis was examined for several types of lethal stress. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Genetic knockout of the toxin gene, ndoA (ydcE, conferred protection to lethal stressors that included kanamycin, moxifloxacin, hydrogen peroxide, and UV irradiation. However, at low doses of UV irradiation the ndoA deficiency increased lethality. Indeed, gradually increasing UV dose with the ndoA mutant revealed a crossover response--from the mutant being more sensitive than wild-type cells to being less sensitive. For high temperature and nutrient starvation, the toxin deficiency rendered cells hypersensitive. The ndoA deficiency also reduced sporulation frequency, indicating a role for toxin-antitoxin modules in this developmental process. In the case of lethal antimicrobial treatment, deletion of the toxin eliminated a surge in hydrogen peroxide accumulation observed in wild-type cells. CONCLUSIONS: A single toxin-antitoxin module can mediate two opposing effects of stress, one that lowers lethality and another that raises it. Protective effects are thought to arise from toxin-mediated inhibition of translation based on published work. The enhanced, stress-mediated killing probably involves toxin-dependent accumulation of reactive oxygen species, since a deficiency in the NdoA toxin suppressed peroxide accumulation following antimicrobial treatment. The type and perhaps the level of stress appear to be important for determining whether this toxin

  20. Rescue From Lethal Shiga Toxin 2-induced Renal Failure With A Cell-Permeable Peptide

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    Stearns-Kurosawa, Deborah J.; Collins, Valta; Freeman, Scott; Debord, Diann; Nishikawa, Kiyotaka; Oh, Sun-Young; Leibowitz, Caitlin S.; Kurosawa, Shinichiro

    2011-01-01

    Background Intestinal infection with Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing E.coli is a leading cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome and acute renal injury in otherwise healthy children in the US. Antibiotics are contraindicated and a therapeutic priority is agents that act intracellularly against the bacterial toxins which drive kidney injury. Our aim was to evaluate whether intravenous administration of a cell-permeable peptide (TVP) that binds to Stx2 will reduce disease severity and rescue juvenile baboons from a lethal Stx2 dose (50ng/kg). Methods TVP (5mg/kg) was delivered i.v. simultaneously with toxin (prevention protocol) or at 6 or 24 hours after toxin with daily 1mg/kg supplements up to Day 4 (rescue protocols). Biomarkers were monitored in blood and urine up to 28 days. Results and Conclusions TVP therapy resulted in either absence of clinical signs of acute kidney injury and normal urine output (prevention), or delayed and reduced BUN and creatinine levels (rescue) with concomitant survival. Delayed peptide administration significantly reduced thrombocytopenia, but surprisingly did not alter anemia even when monitored for 28 days in rescued survivors. This is the first successful cell-permeable therapeutic that counteracts Stx2 lethality in an animal model which recapitulates many of the human responses to enteric infection. PMID:21603905

  1. The Potential Contributions of Lethal and Edema Toxins to the Pathogenesis of Anthrax Associated Shock

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    Peter Q. Eichacker

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Outbreaks of Bacillus anthracis in the US and Europe over the past 10 years have emphasized the health threat this lethal bacteria poses even for developed parts of the world. In contrast to cutaneous anthrax, inhalational disease in the US during the 2001 outbreaks and the newly identified injectional drug use form of disease in the UK and Germany have been associated with relatively high mortality rates. One notable aspect of these cases has been the difficulty in supporting patients once shock has developed. Anthrax bacilli produce several different components which likely contribute to this shock. Growing evidence indicates that both major anthrax toxins may produce substantial cardiovascular dysfunction. Lethal toxin (LT can alter peripheral vascular function; it also has direct myocardial depressant effects. Edema toxin (ET may have even more pronounced peripheral vascular effects than LT, including the ability to interfere with the actions of conventional vasopressors. Additionally, ET also appears capable of interfering with renal sodium and water retention. Importantly, the two toxins exert their actions via quite different mechanisms and therefore have the potential to worsen shock and outcome in an additive fashion. Finally, both toxins have the ability to inhibit host defense and microbial clearance, possibly contributing to the very high bacterial loads noted in patients dying with anthrax. This last point is clinically relevant since emerging data has begun to implicate other bacterial components such as anthrax cell wall in the shock and organ injury observed with infection. Taken together, accumulating evidence regarding the potential contribution of LT and ET to anthrax-associated shock supports efforts to develop adjunctive therapies that target both toxins in patients with progressive shock.

  2. Select human anthrax protective antigen (PA) epitope-specific antibodies provide protection from lethal toxin challenge

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    Crowe, Sherry R.; Ash, Linda L.; Engler, Renata J. M.; Ballard, Jimmy D.; Harley, John B.; Farris, A. Darise; James, Judith A.

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis remains a serious bioterrorism concern, and the currently licensed vaccine remains an incomplete solution for population protection from inhalation anthrax and has been associated with concerns regarding efficacy and safety. Thus, understanding how to generate long lasting protective immunity with reduced immunizations or providing protection through post exposure immunotherapeutics are long sought goals. Through evaluation of a large military cohort, we characterized the levels of antibodies against protective antigen and found that over half of anthrax vaccinees had low levels of in vitro toxin neutralization capacity in their sera. Using solid phase epitope mapping and confirmatory assays, we identified several neutralization-associated humoral epitopes and demonstrated that select anti-peptide responses mediated protection in vitro. Finally, passively transferred antibodies specific for select epitopes provided protection in an in vivo lethal toxin mouse model. Identification of these antigenic regions has important implications for vaccine design and the development of directed immunotherapeutics. PMID:20533877

  3. Immunization of Mice with Anthrax Protective Antigen Limits Cardiotoxicity but Not Hepatotoxicity Following Lethal Toxin Challenge.

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    Devera, T Scott; Prusator, Dawn K; Joshi, Sunil K; Ballard, Jimmy D; Lang, Mark L

    2015-06-25

    Protective immunity against anthrax is inferred from measurement of vaccine antigen-specific neutralizing antibody titers in serum samples. In animal models, in vivo challenges with toxin and/or spores can also be performed. However, neither of these approaches considers toxin-induced damage to specific organ systems. It is therefore important to determine to what extent anthrax vaccines and existing or candidate adjuvants can provide organ-specific protection against intoxication. We therefore compared the ability of Alum, CpG DNA and the CD1d ligand α-galactosylceramide (αGC) to enhance protective antigen-specific antibody titers, to protect mice against challenge with lethal toxin, and to block cardiotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. By measurement of serum cardiac Troponin I (cTnI), and hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), it was apparent that neither vaccine modality prevented hepatic intoxication, despite high Ab titers and ultimate survival of the subject. In contrast, cardiotoxicity was greatly diminished by prior immunization. This shows that a vaccine that confers survival following toxin exposure may still have an associated morbidity. We propose that organ-specific intoxication should be monitored routinely during research into new vaccine modalities.

  4. Development of an in Vitro Potency Assay for Anti-anthrax Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Antibodies

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    Sjoerd Rijpkema

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis reduces the production of a number of inflammatory mediators, including transcription factors, chemokines and cytokines in various human cell lines, leading to down-regulation of the host inflammatory response. Previously we showed that the reduction of interleukin-8 (IL-8 is a sensitive marker of LT-mediated intoxication in human neutrophil-like NB-4 cells and that IL-8 levels are restored to normality when therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb with toxin-neutralising (TN activity are added. We used this information to develop cell-based assays that examine the effects of TN therapeutic mAbs designed to treat LT intoxication and here we extend these findings. We present an in vitro assay based on human endothelial cell line HUVEC jr2, which measures the TN activity of therapeutic anti-LT mAbs using IL-8 as a marker for intoxication. HUVEC jr2 cells have the advantage over NB-4 cells that they are adherent, do not require a differentiation step and can be used in a microtitre plate format and therefore can facilitate high throughput analysis. This human cell-based assay provides a valid alternative to the mouse macrophage assay as it is a more biologically relevant model of the effects of toxin-neutralising antibodies in human infection.

  5. Prolonged pretreatment of mice with cholera toxin, but not isoproterenol, alleviates acute lethal systemic inflammatory response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jingyang; Guo, Xiangrui; Cao, Junxia; Zhang, Xueying; Zhang, Jiyan; Sun, Dejun; Wang, Qingyang

    2014-11-01

    Isoproterenol, a synthetic non-selective β-adrenergic agonist, is often used during the immediate postoperative period after open heart surgery for its chronotropic and vasodilatory effects. It has been demonstrated that isoproterenol pretreatment followed by immediate LPS administration leads to reduced tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) response in vivo. However, sepsis never happens immediately after the surgery, but rather severe immune dysfunction occurs at least 24h later. It remains elusive what effects isoproterenol might exert to innate immunity during the period. In this scenario, we investigated the effects of 24-h isoproterenol pretreatment on septic shock induced by experimental endotoxemia and bacterial peritonitis, with cholera toxin as another cAMP elevator. Unexpectedly, we found that isoproterenol and cholera toxin exhibited distinct effects in acute lethal systemic inflammatory response. Isoproterenol worsened liver injury without enhancing NK/NKT activity. Meanwhile, cholera toxin but not isoproterenol showed dramatically reduced TNF-α response in LPS induced septic shock. Our data provide a caution for the clinical use of isoproterenol and suggest that isoproterenol has cAMP-independent functions.

  6. Sub-Lethal Dose of Shiga Toxin 2 from Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Affects Balance and Cerebellar Cytoarchitecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Alipio; Cangelosi, Adriana; Geoghegan, Patricia A.; Tironi-Farinati, Carla; Brener, Gabriela J.; Goldstein, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli may damage the central nervous system before or concomitantly to manifested hemolytic–uremic syndrome symptoms. The cerebellum is frequently damaged during this syndrome, however, the deleterious effects of Shiga toxin 2 has never been integrally reported by ultrastructural, physiological and behavioral means. The aim of this study was to determine the cerebellar compromise after intravenous administration of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin 2 by measuring the cerebellar blood–brain barrier permeability, behavioral task of cerebellar functionality (inclined plane test), and ultrastructural analysis (transmission electron microscope). Intravenous administration of vehicle (control group), sub-lethal dose of 0.5 and 1 ηg of Stx2 per mouse were tested for behavioral and ultrastructural studies. A set of three independent experiments were performed for each study (n = 6). Blood–brain barrier resulted damaged and consequently its permeability was significantly increased. Lower scores obtained in the inclined plane task denoted poor cerebellar functionality in comparison to their controls. The most significant lower score was obtained after 5 days of 1 ηg of toxin administration. Transmission electron microscope micrographs from the Stx2-treated groups showed neurons with a progressive neurodegenerative condition in a dose dependent manner. As sub-lethal intravenous Shiga toxin 2 altered the blood brain barrier permeability in the cerebellum the toxin penetrated the cerebellar parenchyma and produced cell damaged with significant functional implications in the test balance. PMID:26904009

  7. Sub-Lethal Dose of Shiga toxin 2 from Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Affects Balance and Cerebellar Cythoarquitecture.

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    Luciana eD’Alessio

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli may damage the central nervous system before or concomitantly to manifested hemolytic uremic syndrome symptoms. The cerebellum is frequently damaged during this syndrome, however the deleterious effects of Shiga toxin 2 has never been integrally reported by ultrastructural, physiological and behavioral means. The aim of this study was to determine the cerebellar compromise after intravenous administration of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin 2 by measuring the cerebellar blood brain barrier permeability, behavioral task of cerebellar functionality (inclined plane test, and ultrastructural analysis (transmission electron microscope. Intravenous administration of vehicle (control group, sub-lethal dose of 0.5 ηg and 1 ηg of Stx2 per mouse were tested for behavioral and ultrastructural studies. A set of three independent experiments were performed for each study (n=6. Blood–Brain Barrier resulted damaged and consequently its permeability was significantly increased. Lower scores obtained in the inclined plane task denoted poor cerebellar functionality in comparison to their controls. The most significant lower score was obtained after 5 days of 1ηg of toxin administration. Transmission electron microscope micrographs from the Stx2-treated groups showed neurons with a progressive neurodegenerative condition in a dose dependent manner. As sub-lethal intravenous Shiga toxin 2 altered the blood brain barrier permeability in the cerebellum the toxin penetrated the cerebellar parenchyma and produced cell damaged with significant functional implications in the test balance.

  8. Chloroquine derivatives block the translocation pores and inhibit cellular entry of Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin and Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin.

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    Kreidler, Anna-Maria; Benz, Roland; Barth, Holger

    2017-03-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis produce the binary protein toxins C2 and lethal toxin (LT), respectively. These toxins consist of a binding/transport (B7) component that delivers the separate enzyme (A) component into the cytosol of target cells where it modifies its specific substrate and causes cell death. The B7 components of C2 toxin and LT, C2IIa and PA63, respectively, are ring-shaped heptamers that bind to their cellular receptors and form complexes with their A components C2I and lethal factor (LF), respectively. After receptor-mediated endocytosis of the toxin complexes, C2IIa and PA63 insert into the membranes of acidified endosomes and form trans-membrane pores through which C2I and LF translocate across endosomal membranes into the cytosol. C2IIa and PA63 also form channels in planar bilayer membranes, and we used this approach earlier to identify chloroquine as a potent blocker of C2IIa and PA63 pores. Here, a series of chloroquine derivatives was investigated to identify more efficient toxin inhibitors with less toxic side effects. Chloroquine, primaquine, quinacrine, and fluphenazine blocked C2IIa and PA63 pores in planar lipid bilayers and in membranes of living epithelial cells and macrophages, thereby preventing the pH-dependent membrane transport of the A components into the cytosol and protecting cells from intoxication with C2 toxin and LT. These potent inhibitors of toxin entry underline the central role of the translocation pores for cellular uptake of binary bacterial toxins and as relevant drug targets, and might be lead compounds for novel pharmacological strategies against severe enteric diseases and anthrax.

  9. Erythropoiesis suppression is associated with anthrax lethal toxin-mediated pathogenic progression.

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    Hsin-Hou Chang

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which results in high mortality in animals and humans. Although some of the mechanisms are already known such as asphyxia, extensive knowledge of molecular pathogenesis of this disease is deficient and remains to be further investigated. Lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of B. anthracis and a specific inhibitor/protease of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKKs. Anthrax LT causes lethality and induces certain anthrax-like symptoms, such as anemia and hypoxia, in experimental mice. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs are the downstream pathways of MAPKKs, and are important for erythropoiesis. This prompted us to hypothesize that anemia and hypoxia may in part be exacerbated by erythropoietic dysfunction. As revealed by colony-forming cell assays in this study, LT challenges significantly reduced mouse erythroid progenitor cells. In addition, in a proteolytic activity-dependent manner, LT suppressed cell survival and differentiation of cord blood CD34(+-derived erythroblasts in vitro. Suppression of cell numbers and the percentage of erythroblasts in the bone marrow were detected in LT-challenged C57BL/6J mice. In contrast, erythropoiesis was provoked through treatments of erythropoietin, significantly ameliorating the anemia and reducing the mortality of LT-treated mice. These data suggested that suppressed erythropoiesis is part of the pathophysiology of LT-mediated intoxication. Because specific treatments to overcome LT-mediated pathogenesis are still lacking, these efforts may help the development of effective treatments against anthrax.

  10. Golgi disruption and early embryonic lethality in mice lacking USO1.

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    Susie Kim

    Full Text Available Golgins are a family of long rod-like proteins characterized by the presence of central coiled-coil domains. Members of the golgin family have important roles in membrane trafficking, where they function as tethering factors that capture transport vesicles and facilitate membrane fusion. Golgin family members also have essential roles in maintaining the organization of the Golgi apparatus. Knockdown of individual golgins in cultured cells resulted in the disruption of the Golgi structure and the dispersal of Golgi marker proteins throughout the cytoplasm. However, these cellular phenotypes have not always been recapitulated in vivo. For example, embryonic development proceeds much further than expected and Golgi disruption was observed in only a subset of cell types in mice lacking the ubiquitously expressed golgin GMAP-210. Cell-type specific functional compensation among golgins may explain the absence of global cell lethality when a ubiquitously expressed golgin is missing. In this study we show that functional compensation does not occur for the golgin USO1. Mice lacking this ubiquitously expressed protein exhibit disruption of Golgi structure and early embryonic lethality, indicating that USO1 is indispensable for early embryonic development.

  11. Disruption of the Sec24d gene results in early embryonic lethality in the mouse.

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    Andrea C Baines

    Full Text Available Transport of newly synthesized proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER to the Golgi is mediated by the coat protein complex COPII. The inner coat of COPII is assembled from heterodimers of SEC23 and SEC24. Though mice with mutations in one of the four Sec24 paralogs, Sec24b, exhibit a neural tube closure defect, deficiency in humans or mice has not yet been described for any of the other Sec24 paralogs. We now report characterization of mice with targeted disruption of Sec24d. Early embryonic lethality is observed in mice completely deficient in SEC24D, while a hypomorphic Sec24d allele permits survival to mid-embryogenesis. Mice haploinsufficient for Sec24d exhibit no phenotypic abnormality. A BAC transgene containing Sec24d rescues the embryonic lethality observed in Sec24d-null mice. These results demonstrate an absolute requirement for SEC24D expression in early mammalian development that is not compensated by the other three Sec24 paralogs. The early embryonic lethality resulting from loss of SEC24D in mice contrasts with the previously reported mild skeletal phenotype of SEC24D deficiency in zebrafish and restricted neural tube phenotype of SEC24B deficiency in mice. Taken together, these observations suggest that the multiple Sec24 paralogs have developed distinct functions over the course of vertebrate evolution.

  12. High-sensitivity MALDI-TOF MS quantification of anthrax lethal toxin for diagnostics and evaluation of medical countermeasures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Quinn, Conrad P; Woolfitt, Adrian R; Brumlow, Judith O; Isbell, Katherine; Hoffmaster, Alex R; Lins, Renato C; Barr, John R

    2015-04-01

    Inhalation anthrax has a rapid progression and high fatality rate. Pathology and death from inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores are attributed to the actions of secreted protein toxins. Protective antigen (PA) binds and imports the catalytic component lethal factor (LF), a zinc endoprotease, and edema factor (EF), an adenylyl cyclase, into susceptible cells. PA-LF is termed lethal toxin (LTx) and PA-EF, edema toxin. As the universal transporter for both toxins, PA is an important target for vaccination and immunotherapeutic intervention. However, its quantification has been limited to methods of relatively low analytic sensitivity. Quantification of LTx may be more clinically relevant than LF or PA alone because LTx is the toxic form that acts on cells. A method was developed for LTx-specific quantification in plasma using anti-PA IgG magnetic immunoprecipitation of PA and quantification of LF activity that co-purified with PA. The method was fast (anthrax and as long as 8 days post-treatment. Over the course of infection in two rhesus macaques, LTx was first detected at 0.101 and 0.237 ng/mL at 36 h post-exposure and increased to 1147 and 12,107 ng/mL in late-stage anthrax. This demonstrated the importance of LTx as a diagnostic and therapeutic target. This method provides a sensitive, accurate tool for anthrax toxin detection and evaluation of PA-directed therapeutics.

  13. Quantitative Determination of Lethal Toxin Proteins in Culture Supernatant of Human Live Anthrax Vaccine Bacillus anthracis A16R.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ju; Liu, Jie; Li, Liangliang; Yin, Ying; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-02-25

    Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is the etiological agent of anthrax affecting both humans and animals. Anthrax toxin (AT) plays a major role in pathogenesis. It includes lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are formed by the combination of protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF), respectively. The currently used human anthrax vaccine in China utilizes live-attenuated B. anthracis spores (A16R; pXO1+, pXO2-) that produce anthrax toxin but cannot produce the capsule. Anthrax toxins, especially LT, have key effects on both the immunogenicity and toxicity of human anthrax vaccines. Thus, determining quantities and biological activities of LT proteins expressed by the A16R strain is meaningful. Here, we explored LT expression patterns of the A16R strain in culture conditions using another vaccine strain Sterne as a control. We developed a sandwich ELISA and cytotoxicity-based method for quantitative detection of PA and LF. Expression and degradation of LT proteins were observed in culture supernatants over time. Additionally, LT proteins expressed by the A16R and Sterne strains were found to be monomeric and showed cytotoxic activity, which may be the main reason for side effects of live anthrax vaccines. Our work facilitates the characterization of anthrax vaccines components and establishment of a quality control standard for vaccine production which may ultimately help to ensure the efficacy and safety of the human anthrax vaccine A16R.

  14. Anthrax lethal toxin suppresses high glucose induced VEGF over secretion through a post-translational mechanism

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei-Wei; Zhang; Xin; Wang; Ping; Xie; Song-Tao; Yuan; Qing-Huai; Liu

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To prove anthrax lethal toxin(Le Tx) blocks the mitogen activated protein kinases(MAPKs) activation by degrading the MAPK/ERK kinases(MEKs) to suppress vascular endothelial growth factor(VEGF) secretion.METHODS: Human adult retinal pigmented epithelium(ARPE) cells were cultured and treated with normal glucose, high glucose or high glucose with Le Tx for additional 24, 48 or 72 h for viable cell count. Total RNA from the ARPE was isolated for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR). The conditioned medium of ARPE cells treated in different group for 48 h was filtered and diluted to detect the concentration of VEGF by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays.Evaluate the role of MEK/MAPK pathway in the secretion of VEGF by immunoblotting. RESULTS: In this study, we proved high glucose induced activation of the MAPK extracellular signal-regulated kinase(ERK1/2) and p38 in the ARPE cell line was blocked by anthrax Le Tx. Le Tx also inhibited high glucose induced ARPE cell over proliferation.CONCLUSION: Le Tx suppressed high glucose induced VEGF over secretion in the ARPE cells, mainly through a post-translational mechanism.

  15. Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum-Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1 Anthrax Lethal Toxin Cytototoxity Assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum - Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1 Anthrax Lethal Toxin...activity of colostrum -derived, polyclonal, bovine antibodies. Antibodies against lethal factor and protective antigen were found to protect...APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum - Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1

  16. Sub-lethal effects of Vip3A toxin on survival, development and fecundity of Heliothis virescens and Plutella xylostella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulzar, Asim; Wright, Denis J

    2015-11-01

    The assessment of sub-lethal effects is important to interpret the overall insecticide efficacy in controlling insect pest populations. In addition to the lethal effect, sub-lethal effects may also occur in exposed insects. Vegetative insecticidal proteins (Vips) have shown a broad spectrum of insecticidal activity against many insect pest species. In this study the sub-lethal effects of the Bacillus thuringiensis vegetative insecticidal toxin Vip3A on the development and reproduction of Heliothis virescens F. and Plutella xylostella L. were evaluated in the laboratory. The results indicated that the sub-lethal concentration of Vip3A increased the duration of the larval and pupal stages as compared with the control treatment for both species. The percent pupation and percent adult emergence were significantly lower for Vip3A-treated insects. The proportion of pairs that produced eggs and the longevity of adults were not significantly different between treatments. H. virescens and P. xylostella treated with Vip3A showed an 11 and 17 % decrease in their intrinsic rate of increase (rm) respectively compared with untreated insects. The results from this study will be helpful to develop the strategy to incorporate Vip 3A containing crops in an integrated pest management programme.

  17. Standardization of anti-lethal toxin potency test of antivenoms prepared from two different Agkistrodon halys venoms

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    K. H. Lee

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In Korea, antivenoms for the treatment of patients bitten by venomous snakes have been imported from Japan or China. Although there is cross-reactivity between these antibodies and venoms from snakes indigenous to Korea (e.g. Agkistrodon genus, protection is not optimal. Antivenoms specifically prepared to neutralize Korean snake venoms could be more effective, with fewer side effects. To this end, we established an infrastructure to develop national standards and created a standardized method to evaluate the efficacy of two horse-derived antivenoms using mouse lethal toxin test. Additionally, we determined the antivenoms neutralizing activity against lethal doses (LD50 of Agkistrodon halys (from Japan and Jiangzhe Agkistrodon halys (from China venoms. We also performed cross-neutralization tests using probit analysis on each pairing of venom and antivenom in order to check the possibility of using Jiangzhe A. halys venom as a substitute for A. halys venom, the current standard. Slope of A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 10.2 and that of A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 9.6. However, Slope of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 4.7 while that of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 11.5. Therefore, the significant difference in slope patterns suggests that Jiangzhe A. halys venom cannot be used as a substitute for the standard venom to test the anti-lethal toxin activity of antivenoms (p<0.05.

  18. PC, a Novel Oral Insecticidal Toxin from Bacillus bombysepticus Involved in Host Lethality via APN and BtR-175.

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    Lin, Ping; Cheng, Tingcai; Jin, Shengkai; Wu, Yuqian; Fu, Bohua; Long, Renwen; Zhao, Ping; Xia, Qingyou

    2015-06-09

    Insect pests have developed resistance to chemical insecticides, insecticidal toxins as bioinsecticides or genetic protection built into crops. Consequently, novel, orally active insecticidal toxins would be valuable biological alternatives for pest control. Here, we identified a novel insecticidal toxin, parasporal crystal toxin (PC), from Bacillus bombysepticus (Bb). PC shows oral pathogenic activity and lethality towards silkworms and Cry1Ac-resistant Helicoverpa armigera strains. In vitro assays, PC after activated by trypsin binds to BmAPN4 and BtR-175 by interacting with CR7 and CR12 fragments. Additionally, trypsin-activated PC demonstrates cytotoxicity against Sf9 cells expressing BmAPN4, revealing that BmAPN4 serves as a functional receptor that participates in Bb and PC pathogenicity. In vivo assay, knocking out BtR-175 increased the resistance of silkworms to PC. These data suggest that PC is the first protein with insecticidal activity identified in Bb that is capable of causing silkworm death via receptor interactions, representing an important advance in our understanding of the toxicity of Bb and the contributions of interactions between microbial pathogens and insects to disease pathology. Furthermore, the potency of PC as an insecticidal protein makes it a good candidate for inclusion in integrated agricultural pest management systems.

  19. Disruption of G-protein γ5 subtype causes embryonic lethality in mice.

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    Anne M Moon

    Full Text Available Heterotrimeric G-proteins modulate many processes essential for embryonic development including cellular proliferation, migration, differentiation, and survival. Although most research has focused on identifying the roles of the various αsubtypes, there is growing recognition that similarly divergent βγ dimers also regulate these processes. In this paper, we show that targeted disruption of the mouse Gng5 gene encoding the γ5 subtype produces embryonic lethality associated with severe head and heart defects. Collectively, these results add to a growing body of data that identify critical roles for the γ subunits in directing the assembly of functionally distinct G-αβγ trimers that are responsible for regulating diverse biological processes. Specifically, the finding that loss of the G-γ5 subtype is associated with a reduced number of cardiac precursor cells not only provides a causal basis for the mouse phenotype but also raises the possibility that G-βγ5 dependent signaling contributes to the pathogenesis of human congenital heart problems.

  20. Effect of delayed anthrax vaccine dose on Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG response and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Phillip R; Fisher, Diana; Quinn, Xiaofei; Schmader, Trevor; Barrera-Oro, Julio G

    2013-10-17

    We describe the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG antibody response and the B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity to a delayed dose of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA, BioThrax(®)) using validated assays. 373 individuals received 1, 2, or 3 priming doses, 18-24 months afterward, they received a delayed dose of AVA. Overall, 23.6% of subjects showed detectable anti-PA IgG before the boost, compared to 99.2% (P<0.0001) 28 days after the boost. Geometric mean anti-PA IgG concentration (GMC) was 1.66 μg/mL before and 887.82 μg/mL after the boost (P<0.0001). The proportion of individuals with four-fold increase in GMC following the boost ranged from 93.8% to 100%. Robust anti-PA IgG levels and B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity are induced when an AVA dose is delayed as long as two years. These data support continuing with the vaccination schedule when a dose is delayed as long as two years rather than restarting the series.

  1. Blocking anthrax lethal toxin at the protective antigen channel by using structure-inspired drug design

    OpenAIRE

    Karginov, Vladimir A.; Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2005-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis secretes three polypeptides: protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF), which interact at the surface of mammalian cells to form toxic complexes. LF and EF are enzymes that target substrates within the cytosol; PA provides a heptameric pore to facilitate LF and EF transport into the cytosol. Other than administration of antibiotics shortly after exposure, there is currently no approved effective treatment for inhalational anthrax. Here we demonstrat...

  2. Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Toxins also include some medicines that are helpful in small doses, but poisonous in large amounts. Most toxins that cause problems ...

  3. Ligand-induced expansion of the S1' site in the anthrax toxin lethal factor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maize, Kimberly M.; Kurbanov, Elbek K.; Johnson, Rodney L.; Amin, Elizabeth Ambrose; Finzel, Barry C. (UMM)

    2016-07-05

    The Bacillus anthracis lethal factor (LF) is one component of a tripartite exotoxin partly responsible for persistent anthrax cytotoxicity after initial bacterial infection. Inhibitors of the zinc metalloproteinase have been investigated as potential therapeutic agents, but LF is a challenging target because inhibitors lack sufficient selectivity or possess poor pharmaceutical properties. These structural studies reveal an alternate conformation of the enzyme, induced upon binding of specific inhibitors, that opens a previously unobserved deep pocket termed S1'* which might afford new opportunities to design selective inhibitors that target this subsite.

  4. The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy Steffany; Wilson, David; Mattick, John S; King, Glenn F

    2012-01-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome.

  5. The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandy Steffany Pineda

    Full Text Available Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome.

  6. Cyanobacterial protease inhibitor microviridin J causes a lethal molting disruption in Daphnia pulicaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohrlack, Thomas; Christoffersen, Kirsten; Kaebernick, Melanie; Neilan, Brett A

    2004-08-01

    Laboratory experiments identified microviridin J as the source of a fatal molting disruption in Daphnia species organisms feeding on Microcystis cells. The molting disruption was presumably linked to the inhibitory effect of microviridin J on daphnid proteases, suggesting that hundreds of further cyanobacterial protease inhibitors must be considered potentially toxic to zooplankton.

  7. Recombinant expression of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin components of Indian isolate in Escherichia coli and determination of its acute toxicity level in mouse model.

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    Nagendra, Suryanarayana; Vanlalhmuaka; Verma, Sarika; Tuteja, Urmil; Thavachelvam, Kulanthaivel

    2015-12-15

    Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LeTx) is the principle factor responsible for toxaemia and anthrax related death. Lethal toxin consist of two proteins viz protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor which combines in a typical fashion similar to other toxins belonging to A-B toxin super family. The amount of LeTx required to kill a particular organism generally differs among strains owing to their geographical distributions and genetic variation. In the present study, we have cloned PA and LF genes from B. anthracis clinical isolate of Indian origin and expressed them in soluble form employing Escherichia coli expression system. Both the proteins were purified to near homogeneity level using Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). Further we have used equal ratio of both the proteins to form LeTx and determined its acute toxicity level in Balb/c mice by graphical method of Miller and Tainter. The LD50 value of LeTx by intravenous (i.v) route was found to be 0.97 ± 0.634 mg kg(-1) Balb/c mice. This study highlights the expression of recombinant LeTx from E. coli and assessing its acute toxicity level in experimental mouse model.

  8. A Translational Murine Model of Sub-Lethal Intoxication with Shiga Toxin 2 Reveals Novel Ultrastructural Findings in the Brain Striatum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tironi-Farinati, Carla; Geoghegan, Patricia A.; Cangelosi, Adriana; Pinto, Alipio; Loidl, C. Fabian; Goldstein, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    Infection by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli causes hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), acute renal failure, and also central nervous system complications in around 30% of the children affected. Besides, neurological deficits are one of the most unrepairable and untreatable outcomes of HUS. Study of the striatum is relevant because basal ganglia are one of the brain areas most commonly affected in patients that have suffered from HUS and since the deleterious effects of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin have never been studied in the striatum, the purpose of this study was to attempt to simulate an infection by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in a murine model. To this end, intravenous administration of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin 2 (0.5 ηg per mouse) was used and the correlation between neurological manifestations and ultrastructural changes in striatal brain cells was studied in detail. Neurological manifestations included significant motor behavior abnormalities in spontaneous motor activity, gait, pelvic elevation and hind limb activity eight days after administration of the toxin. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the toxin caused early perivascular edema two days after administration, as well as significant damage in astrocytes four days after administration and significant damage in neurons and oligodendrocytes eight days after administration. Interrupted synapses and mast cell extravasation were also found eight days after administration of the toxin. We thus conclude that the chronological order of events observed in the striatum could explain the neurological disorders found eight days after administration of the toxin. PMID:23383285

  9. Ecdysone receptor agonism leading to lethal molting disruption in arthropods: Review and adverse outcome pathway development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molting is a key biological process in growth, development, reproduction and survival in arthropods. Complex neuroendocrine pathways are involved in the regulation of molting and may potentially become targets of environmental endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs). For example, s...

  10. Susceptibility to anthrax lethal toxin-induced rat death is controlled by a single chromosome 10 locus that includes rNlrp1.

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    Zachary L Newman

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax lethal toxin (LT is a bipartite protease-containing toxin and a key virulence determinant of Bacillus anthracis. In mice, LT causes the rapid lysis of macrophages isolated from certain inbred strains, but the correlation between murine macrophage sensitivity and mouse strain susceptibility to toxin challenge is poor. In rats, LT induces a rapid death in as little as 37 minutes through unknown mechanisms. We used a recombinant inbred (RI rat panel of 19 strains generated from LT-sensitive and LT-resistant progenitors to map LT sensitivity in rats to a locus on chromosome 10 that includes the inflammasome NOD-like receptor (NLR sensor, Nlrp1. This gene is the closest rat homolog of mouse Nlrp1b, which was previously shown to control murine macrophage sensitivity to LT. An absolute correlation between in vitro macrophage sensitivity to LT-induced lysis and animal susceptibility to the toxin was found for the 19 RI strains and 12 additional rat strains. Sequencing Nlrp1 from these strains identified five polymorphic alleles. Polymorphisms within the N-terminal 100 amino acids of the Nlrp1 protein were perfectly correlated with LT sensitivity. These data suggest that toxin-mediated lethality in rats as well as macrophage sensitivity in this animal model are controlled by a single locus on chromosome 10 that is likely to be the inflammasome NLR sensor, Nlrp1.

  11. Tumor therapy with a urokinase plasminogen activator-activated anthrax lethal toxin alone and in combination with paclitaxel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wein, Alexander N.; Liu, Shihui; Zhang, Yi; McKenzie, Andrew T.; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2013-01-01

    PA-U2, an engineered anthrax protective antigen that is activated by urokinase was combined with wild-type lethal factor in the treatment of Colo205 colon adenocarcinoma in vitro and B16-BL6 mouse melanoma in vitro and in vivo. This therapy was also tested in combination with the small molecule paclitaxel, based on prior reports suggesting synergy between ERK1/2 inhibition and chemotherapeutics. Colo205 was sensitive to PA-U2/LF while B16-BL6 was not. For the combination treatment of B16-BL6, paclitaxel showed a dose response in vitro, but cells remained resistant to PA-U2/LF even in the presence of paclitaxel. In vivo, each therapy slowed tumor progression, and an additive effect between the two was observed. Since LF targets tumor vasculature while paclitaxel is an anti-mitotic, it is possible the agents were acting against different cells in the stroma, precluding a synergistic effect. The engineered anthrax toxin PA-U2/LF warrants further development and testing, possibly in combination with an anti-angiogenesis therapy such as sunitinib or sorafinib. PMID:22843210

  12. Anthrax lethal toxin-mediated killing of human and murine dendritic cells impairs the adaptive immune response.

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    Abdelkrim Alileche

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Many pathogens have acquired strategies to combat the immune response. Bacillus anthracis interferes with host defenses by releasing anthrax lethal toxin (LT, which inactivates mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, rendering dendritic cells (DCs and T lymphocytes nonresponsive to immune stimulation. However, these cell types are considered resistant to killing by LT. Here we show that LT kills primary human DCs in vitro, and murine DCs in vitro and in vivo. Kinetics of LT-mediated killing of murine DCs, as well as cell death pathways induced, were dependent upon genetic background: LT triggered rapid necrosis in BALB/c-derived DCs, and slow apoptosis in C57BL/6-derived DCs. This is consistent with rapid and slow killing of LT-injected BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, respectively. We present evidence that anthrax LT impairs adaptive immunity by specifically targeting DCs. This may represent an immune-evasion strategy of the bacterium, and contribute to anthrax disease progression. We also established that genetic background determines whether apoptosis or necrosis is induced by LT. Finally, killing of C57BL/6-derived DCs by LT mirrors that of human DCs, suggesting that C57BL/6 DCs represent a better model system for human anthrax than the prototypical BALB/c macrophages.

  13. PLAA Mutations Cause a Lethal Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy by Disrupting Ubiquitin-Mediated Endolysosomal Degradation of Synaptic Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Emma A; Nahorski, Michael S; Murray, Lyndsay M; Shaheen, Ranad; Perkins, Emma; Dissanayake, Kosala N; Kristaryanto, Yosua; Jones, Ross A; Vogt, Julie; Rivagorda, Manon; Handley, Mark T; Mali, Girish R; Quidwai, Tooba; Soares, Dinesh C; Keighren, Margaret A; McKie, Lisa; Mort, Richard L; Gammoh, Noor; Garcia-Munoz, Amaya; Davey, Tracey; Vermeren, Matthieu; Walsh, Diana; Budd, Peter; Aligianis, Irene A; Faqeih, Eissa; Quigley, Alan J; Jackson, Ian J; Kulathu, Yogesh; Jackson, Mandy; Ribchester, Richard R; von Kriegsheim, Alex; Alkuraya, Fowzan S; Woods, C Geoffrey; Maher, Eamonn R; Mill, Pleasantine

    2017-05-04

    During neurotransmission, synaptic vesicles undergo multiple rounds of exo-endocytosis, involving recycling and/or degradation of synaptic proteins. While ubiquitin signaling at synapses is essential for neural function, it has been assumed that synaptic proteostasis requires the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). We demonstrate here that turnover of synaptic membrane proteins via the endolysosomal pathway is essential for synaptic function. In both human and mouse, hypomorphic mutations in the ubiquitin adaptor protein PLAA cause an infantile-lethal neurodysfunction syndrome with seizures. Resulting from perturbed endolysosomal degradation, Plaa mutant neurons accumulate K63-polyubiquitylated proteins and synaptic membrane proteins, disrupting synaptic vesicle recycling and neurotransmission. Through characterization of this neurological intracellular trafficking disorder, we establish the importance of ubiquitin-mediated endolysosomal trafficking at the synapse. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Binding of superantigen toxins into the CD28 homodimer interface is essential for induction of cytokine genes that mediate lethal shock.

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    Gila Arad

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial superantigens, a diverse family of toxins, induce an inflammatory cytokine storm that can lead to lethal shock. CD28 is a homodimer expressed on T cells that functions as the principal costimulatory ligand in the immune response through an interaction with its B7 coligands, yet we show here that to elicit inflammatory cytokine gene expression and toxicity, superantigens must bind directly into the dimer interface of CD28. Preventing access of the superantigen to CD28 suffices to block its lethality. Mice were protected from lethal superantigen challenge by short peptide mimetics of the CD28 dimer interface and by peptides selected to compete with the superantigen for its binding site in CD28. Superantigens use a conserved β-strand/hinge/α-helix domain of hitherto unknown function to engage CD28. Mutation of this superantigen domain abolished inflammatory cytokine gene induction and lethality. Structural analysis showed that when a superantigen binds to the T cell receptor on the T cell and major histocompatibility class II molecule on the antigen-presenting cell, CD28 can be accommodated readily as third superantigen receptor in the quaternary complex, with the CD28 dimer interface oriented towards the β-strand/hinge/α-helix domain in the superantigen. Our findings identify the CD28 homodimer interface as a critical receptor target for superantigens. The novel role of CD28 as receptor for a class of microbial pathogens, the superantigen toxins, broadens the scope of pathogen recognition mechanisms.

  15. Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt2Aa2 toxin disrupts cell membranes by forming large protein aggregates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tharad, Sudarat; Toca-Herrera, José L.; Promdonkoy, Boonhiang; Krittanai, Chartchai

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cyt2Aa2 showed toxicity against Dipteran insect larvae and in vitro lysis activity on several cells. It has potential applications in the biological control of insect larvae. Although pore-forming and/or detergent-like mechanisms were proposed, the mechanism underlying cytolytic activity remains unclear. Analysis of the haemolytic activity of Cyt2Aa2 with osmotic stabilizers revealed partial toxin inhibition, suggesting a distinctive mechanism from the putative pore formation model. Membrane permeability was studied using fluorescent dye entrapped in large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) at various protein/lipid molar ratios. Binding of Cyt2Aa2 monomer to the lipid membrane did not disturb membrane integrity until the critical protein/lipid molar ratio was reached, when Cyt2Aa2 complexes and cytolytic activity were detected. The complexes are large aggregates that appeared as a ladder when separated by agarose gel electrophoresis. Interaction of Cyt2Aa2 with Aedes albopictus cells was investigated by confocal microscopy and total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRF). The results showed that Cyt2Aa2 binds on the cell membrane at an early stage without cell membrane disruption. Protein aggregation on the cell membrane was detected later which coincided with cell swelling. Cyt2Aa2 aggregations on supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) were visualized by AFM. The AFM topographic images revealed Cyt2Aa2 aggregates on the lipid bilayer at low protein concentration and subsequently disrupts the lipid bilayer by forming a lesion as the protein concentration increased. These results supported the mechanism whereby Cyt2Aa2 binds and aggregates on the lipid membrane leading to the formation of non-specific hole and disruption of the cell membrane. PMID:27612497

  16. A novel sperm-delivered toxin causes late-stage embryo lethality and transmission ratio distortion in C. elegans.

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    Hannah S Seidel

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary fate of an allele ordinarily depends on its contribution to host fitness. Occasionally, however, genetic elements arise that are able to gain a transmission advantage while simultaneously imposing a fitness cost on their hosts. We previously discovered one such element in C. elegans that gains a transmission advantage through a combination of paternal-effect killing and zygotic self-rescue. Here we demonstrate that this element is composed of a sperm-delivered toxin, peel-1, and an embryo-expressed antidote, zeel-1. peel-1 and zeel-1 are located adjacent to one another in the genome and co-occur in an insertion/deletion polymorphism. peel-1 encodes a novel four-pass transmembrane protein that is expressed in sperm and delivered to the embryo via specialized, sperm-specific vesicles. In the absence of zeel-1, sperm-delivered PEEL-1 causes lethal defects in muscle and epidermal tissue at the 2-fold stage of embryogenesis. zeel-1 is expressed transiently in the embryo and encodes a novel six-pass transmembrane domain fused to a domain with sequence similarity to zyg-11, a substrate-recognition subunit of an E3 ubiquitin ligase. zeel-1 appears to have arisen recently, during an expansion of the zyg-11 family, and the transmembrane domain of zeel-1 is required and partially sufficient for antidote activity. Although PEEL-1 and ZEEL-1 normally function in embryos, these proteins can act at other stages as well. When expressed ectopically in adults, PEEL-1 kills a variety of cell types, and ectopic expression of ZEEL-1 rescues these effects. Our results demonstrate that the tight physical linkage between two novel transmembrane proteins has facilitated their co-evolution into an element capable of promoting its own transmission to the detriment of organisms carrying it.

  17. A novel ICK mutation causes ciliary disruption and lethal endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oud, Machteld M; Bonnard, Carine; Mans, Dorus A; Altunoglu, Umut; Tohari, Sumanty; Ng, Alvin Yu Jin; Eskin, Ascia; Lee, Hane; Rupar, C Anthony; de Wagenaar, Nathalie P; Wu, Ka Man; Lahiry, Piya; Pazour, Gregory J; Nelson, Stanley F; Hegele, Robert A; Roepman, Ronald; Kayserili, Hülya; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Siu, Victoria M; Reversade, Bruno; Arts, Heleen H

    2016-01-01

    Endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia (ECO) syndrome [MIM:612651] caused by a recessive mutation (p.R272Q) in Intestinal cell kinase (ICK) shows significant clinical overlap with ciliary disorders. Similarities are strongest between ECO syndrome, the Majewski and Mohr-Majewski short-rib thoracic dysplasia (SRTD) with polydactyly syndromes, and hydrolethalus syndrome. In this study, we present a novel homozygous ICK mutation in a fetus with ECO syndrome and compare the effect of this mutation with the previously reported ICK variant on ciliogenesis and cilium morphology. Through homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing, we identified a second variant (c.358G > T; p.G120C) in ICK in a Turkish fetus presenting with ECO syndrome. In vitro studies of wild-type and mutant mRFP-ICK (p.G120C and p.R272Q) revealed that, in contrast to the wild-type protein that localizes along the ciliary axoneme and/or is present in the ciliary base, mutant proteins rather enrich in the ciliary tip. In addition, immunocytochemistry revealed a decreased number of cilia in ICK p.R272Q-affected cells. Through identification of a novel ICK mutation, we confirm that disruption of ICK causes ECO syndrome, which clinically overlaps with the spectrum of ciliopathies. Expression of ICK-mutated proteins result in an abnormal ciliary localization compared to wild-type protein. Primary fibroblasts derived from an individual with ECO syndrome display ciliogenesis defects. In aggregate, our findings are consistent with recent reports that show that ICK regulates ciliary biology in vitro and in mice, confirming that ECO syndrome is a severe ciliopathy.

  18. Anti-proliferative role of recombinant lethal toxin of Bacillus anthracis on primary mammary ductal carcinoma cells revealing its therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khandia, Rekha; Pattnaik, Bramhadev; Rajukumar, Katherukamem; Pateriya, Atul; Bhatia, Sandeep; Murugkar, Harshad; Prakash, Anil; Pradhan, Hare Krishna; Dhama, Kuldeep; Munjal, Ashok; Joshi, Sunil K

    2017-05-30

    Bacillus anthracis secretes three secretary proteins; lethal factor (LF), protective antigen (PA) and edema factor (EF). The LF has ability to check proliferation of mammary tumors, chiefly depending on mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Evaluation of therapeutic potential of recombinant LF (rLF), recombinant PA (rPA) and lethal toxin (rLF + rPA = LeTx) on the primary mammary ductal carcinoma cells revealed significant (p role of receptor for LF revealed c-Met receptor showing strongest affinity for LF (H bond = 19; Free energy = -773.96), followed by nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-1. The study summarizes the use of rLF or LeTx as therapeutic molecule against primary mammary ductal carcinoma cells and also the c-Met as potential alternative receptor for LF to mediate and modulate PA independent signal transduction.

  19. An attenuated Machupo virus with a disrupted L-segment intergenic region protects guinea pigs against lethal Guanarito virus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, Joseph W; Beitzel, Brett; Ladner, Jason T; Mucker, Eric M; Kwilas, Steven A; Palacios, Gustavo; Hooper, Jay W

    2017-07-05

    Machupo virus (MACV) is a New World (NW) arenavirus and causative agent of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (HF). Here, we identified a variant of MACV strain Carvallo termed Car(91) that was attenuated in guinea pigs. Infection of guinea pigs with an earlier passage of Carvallo, termed Car(68), resulted in a lethal disease with a 63% mortality rate. Sequencing analysis revealed that compared to Car(68), Car(91) had a 35 nucleotide (nt) deletion and a point mutation within the L-segment intergenic region (IGR), and three silent changes in the polymerase gene that did not impact amino acid coding. No changes were found on the S-segment. Because it was apathogenic, we determined if Car(91) could protect guinea pigs against Guanarito virus (GTOV), a distantly related NW arenavirus. While naïve animals succumbed to GTOV infection, 88% of the Car(91)-exposed guinea pigs were protected. These findings indicate that attenuated MACV vaccines can provide heterologous protection against NW arenaviruses. The disruption in the L-segment IGR, including a single point mutant and 35 nt partial deletion, were the only major variance detected between virulent and avirulent isolates, implicating its role in attenuation. Overall, our data support the development of live-attenuated arenaviruses as broadly protective pan-arenavirus vaccines.

  20. Diphtheria toxin treatment of Pet-1-Cre floxed diphtheria toxin receptor mice disrupts thermoregulation without affecting respiratory chemoreception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerpa, Verónica; Gonzalez, Amalia; Richerson, George B.

    2014-01-01

    In genetically-modified Lmx1bf/f/p mice, selective deletion of LMX1B in Pet-1 expressing cells leads to failure of embryonic development of serotonin (5-HT) neurons. As adults, these mice have a decreased hypercapnic ventilatory response and abnormal thermoregulation. This mouse model has been valuable in defining the normal role of 5-HT neurons, but it is possible that developmental compensation reduces the severity of observed deficits. Here we studied mice genetically modified to express diphtheria toxin receptors (DTR) on Pet-1 expressing neurons (Pet-1-Cre/Floxed DTR or Pet1/DTR mice). These mice developed with a normal complement of 5-HT neurons. As adults, systemic treatment with 2 – 35 μg diphtheria toxin (DT) reduced the number of tryptophan hydroxylase immunoreactive (TpOH-ir) neurons in the raphe nuclei and ventrolateral medulla by 80%. There were no effects of DT on baseline ventilation (VE) or the ventilatory response to hypercapnia or hypoxia. At an ambient temperature (TA) of 24°C, all Pet1/DTR mice dropped their body temperature (TB) below 35°C after DT treatment, but the latency was shorter in males than females (3.0 ± 0.37 vs 4.57 ± 0.29 days, respectively; p thermoregulation, in males more than females. In comparison to models with deficient embryonic development of 5-HT neurons, acute deletion of 5-HT neurons in adults leads to a greater defect in thermoregulation, suggesting that significant developmental compensation can occur. PMID:25171790

  1. Adenylylation of Gyrase and Topo IV by FicT Toxins Disrupts Bacterial DNA Topology

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    Alexander Harms

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Toxin-antitoxin (TA modules are ubiquitous molecular switches controlling bacterial growth via the release of toxins that inhibit cell proliferation. Most of these toxins interfere with protein translation, but a growing variety of other mechanisms hints at a diversity that is not yet fully appreciated. Here, we characterize a group of FIC domain proteins as toxins of the conserved and abundant FicTA family of TA modules, and we reveal that they act by suspending control of cellular DNA topology. We show that FicTs are enzymes that adenylylate DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV, the essential bacterial type IIA topoisomerases, at their ATP-binding site. This modification inactivates both targets by blocking their ATPase activity, and, consequently, causes reversible growth arrest due to the knotting, catenation, and relaxation of cellular DNA. Our results give insight into the regulation of DNA topology and highlight the remarkable plasticity of FIC domain proteins.

  2. Erythrocytic mobilization enhanced by the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is associated with reduced anthrax-lethal-toxin-induced mortality in mice.

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    Hsin-Hou Chang

    Full Text Available Anthrax lethal toxin (LT, one of the primary virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis, causes anthrax-like symptoms and death in animals. Experiments have indicated that levels of erythrocytopenia and hypoxic stress are associated with disease severity after administering LT. In this study, the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF was used as a therapeutic agent to ameliorate anthrax-LT- and spore-induced mortality in C57BL/6J mice. We demonstrated that G-CSF promoted the mobilization of mature erythrocytes to peripheral blood, resulting in a significantly faster recovery from erythrocytopenia. In addition, combined treatment using G-CSF and erythropoietin tended to ameliorate B. anthracis-spore-elicited mortality in mice. Although specific treatments against LT-mediated pathogenesis remain elusive, these results may be useful in developing feasible strategies to treat anthrax.

  3. Antiplatelet activities of anthrax lethal toxin are associated with suppressed p42/44 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in the platelets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kau, Jyh-Hwa; Sun, Der-Shan; Tsai, Wei-Jern; Shyu, Huey-Fen; Huang, Hsin-Hsien; Lin, Hung-Chi; Chang, Hsin-Hou

    2005-10-15

    Anthrax lethal toxin (LT) is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis, but the mechanism by which it induces high mortality remains unclear. We found that LT treatment could induce severe hemorrhage in mice and significantly suppress human whole-blood clotting and platelet aggregation in vitro. In addition, LT could inhibit agonist-induced platelet surface P-selectin expression, resulting in the inhibition of platelet-endothelial cell engagements. Data from Western blot analysis indicated that LT treatment resulted in the suppression of p42/44 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in platelets. Combined treatments with LT and antiplatelet agents such as aspirin and the RGD-containing disintegrin rhodostomin significantly increased mortality in mice. Our data suggest that platelets are a pathogenic target for anthrax LT.

  4. Effect of antimicrobials applied on the surface of beef subprimals via an air-assisted electrostatic spraying system(ESS)or the Sprayed Lethality in Container(SLIC)method to control Shiga toxin-producing cells of Escherichia

    Science.gov (United States)

    We evaluated the efficacy of an air-assisted electrostatic spraying system (ESS) and/or the Sprayed Lethality in Container (SLIC®) method to deliver antimicrobials onto the surface of beef subprimals to reduce levels of Shiga toxin-producing cells of Escherichia coli (STEC). In brief, beef subprimal...

  5. Use of air-assisted electrostatic spraying system (ESS)or the sprayed lethality in container(SLIC) method to deliver anticmicrobials onto the surface of beef subprimals to ... shiga toxin-producing cells of Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    We evaluated the efficacy of an air-assisted electrostatic spraying system (ESS) and/or the Sprayed Lethality in Container (SLIC) method to deliver antimicrobials onto the surface of beef subprimals to reduce levels of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Beef subprimals were surface inocu...

  6. Disassembly of actin filaments by botulinum C2 toxin and actin-filament-disrupting agents induces assembly of microtubules in human leukaemia cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uematsu, Yosuke; Kogo, Yasusi; Ohishi, Iwao

    2007-03-01

    C(2) toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum types C and D ADP-ribosylates actin monomers and inactivates their polymerization activities. The disassembly of actin filaments by C(2) toxin induces a polarization of cultured human leukaemia cell lines. The polarization induced by C(2) toxin was temperature dependent and was prevented by nocodazole, a microtubule-disrupting agent, whereas it was promoted by paclitaxel, a microtubule-stabilizing agent. The fluorescence staining of polarized cells indicated an increase in microtubule assembly accompanying disassembly of actin filaments. Furthermore, several actin-filament-disrupting agents, other than C(2) toxin, also induced microtubule assembly and cell polarization, irrespective of their different mechanisms of action. The effects induced by some of the agents, which have lower binding affinities for actin, were reversible in response to the re-assembly of actin filaments. Thus the disassembly of actin filaments by C(2) toxin and actin-filament-disrupting agents induces assembly of microtubules followed by polarization of human leukaemia cell lines, indicating that the assembly/disassembly equilibrium of actin filaments influences the dynamics of microtubules, which control cell morphology and, in turn, diverse cellular processes.

  7. Embryo-lethal phenotypes in early abp1 mutants are due to disruption of the neighboring BSM gene [version 1; referees: 3 approved

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    Jaroslav Michalko

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Auxin Binding Protein1 (ABP1 has been identified based on its ability to bind auxin with high affinity and studied for a long time as a prime candidate for the extracellular auxin receptor responsible for mediating in particular the fast non-transcriptional auxin responses. However, the contradiction between the embryo-lethal phenotypes of the originally described Arabidopsis T-DNA insertional knock-out alleles (abp1-1 and abp1-1s and the wild type-like phenotypes of other recently described loss-of-function alleles (abp1-c1 and abp1-TD1 questions the biological importance of ABP1 and relevance of the previous genetic studies. Here we show that there is no hidden copy of the ABP1 gene in the Arabidopsis genome but the embryo-lethal phenotypes of abp1-1 and abp1-1s alleles are very similar to the knock-out phenotypes of the neighboring gene, BELAYA SMERT (BSM. Furthermore, the allelic complementation test between bsm and abp1 alleles shows that the embryo-lethality in the abp1-1 and abp1-1s alleles is caused by the off-target disruption of the BSM locus by the T-DNA insertions. This clarifies the controversy of different phenotypes among published abp1 knock-out alleles and asks for reflections on the developmental role of ABP1.

  8. Monalysin, a novel ß-pore-forming toxin from the Drosophila pathogen Pseudomonas entomophila, contributes to host intestinal damage and lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opota, Onya; Vallet-Gély, Isabelle; Vincentelli, Renaud; Kellenberger, Christine; Iacovache, Ioan; Gonzalez, Manuel Rodrigo; Roussel, Alain; van der Goot, Françoise-Gisou; Lemaitre, Bruno

    2011-09-01

    Pseudomonas entomophila is an entomopathogenic bacterium that infects and kills Drosophila. P. entomophila pathogenicity is linked to its ability to cause irreversible damages to the Drosophila gut, preventing epithelium renewal and repair. Here we report the identification of a novel pore-forming toxin (PFT), Monalysin, which contributes to the virulence of P. entomophila against Drosophila. Our data show that Monalysin requires N-terminal cleavage to become fully active, forms oligomers in vitro, and induces pore-formation in artificial lipid membranes. The prediction of the secondary structure of the membrane-spanning domain indicates that Monalysin is a PFT of the ß-type. The expression of Monalysin is regulated by both the GacS/GacA two-component system and the Pvf regulator, two signaling systems that control P. entomophila pathogenicity. In addition, AprA, a metallo-protease secreted by P. entomophila, can induce the rapid cleavage of pro-Monalysin into its active form. Reduced cell death is observed upon infection with a mutant deficient in Monalysin production showing that Monalysin plays a role in P. entomophila ability to induce intestinal cell damages, which is consistent with its activity as a PFT. Our study together with the well-established action of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins suggests that production of PFTs is a common strategy of entomopathogens to disrupt insect gut homeostasis.

  9. Monalysin, a novel ß-pore-forming toxin from the Drosophila pathogen Pseudomonas entomophila, contributes to host intestinal damage and lethality.

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    Onya Opota

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas entomophila is an entomopathogenic bacterium that infects and kills Drosophila. P. entomophila pathogenicity is linked to its ability to cause irreversible damages to the Drosophila gut, preventing epithelium renewal and repair. Here we report the identification of a novel pore-forming toxin (PFT, Monalysin, which contributes to the virulence of P. entomophila against Drosophila. Our data show that Monalysin requires N-terminal cleavage to become fully active, forms oligomers in vitro, and induces pore-formation in artificial lipid membranes. The prediction of the secondary structure of the membrane-spanning domain indicates that Monalysin is a PFT of the ß-type. The expression of Monalysin is regulated by both the GacS/GacA two-component system and the Pvf regulator, two signaling systems that control P. entomophila pathogenicity. In addition, AprA, a metallo-protease secreted by P. entomophila, can induce the rapid cleavage of pro-Monalysin into its active form. Reduced cell death is observed upon infection with a mutant deficient in Monalysin production showing that Monalysin plays a role in P. entomophila ability to induce intestinal cell damages, which is consistent with its activity as a PFT. Our study together with the well-established action of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins suggests that production of PFTs is a common strategy of entomopathogens to disrupt insect gut homeostasis.

  10. A Diverse Set of Single-domain Antibodies (VHHs) against the Anthrax Toxin Lethal and Edema Factors Provides a Basis for Construction of a Bispecific Agent That Protects against Anthrax Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrentas, Catherine E; Moayeri, Mahtab; Keefer, Andrea B; Greaney, Allison J; Tremblay, Jacqueline; O'Mard, Danielle; Leppla, Stephen H; Shoemaker, Charles B

    2016-10-07

    Infection with Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, can lead to persistence of lethal secreted toxins in the bloodstream, even after antibiotic treatment. VHH single-domain antibodies have been demonstrated to neutralize diverse bacterial toxins both in vitro and in vivo, with protein properties such as small size and high stability that make them attractive therapeutic candidates. Recently, we reported on VHHs with in vivo activity against the protective antigen component of the anthrax toxins. Here, we characterized a new set of 15 VHHs against the anthrax toxins that act by binding to the edema factor (EF) and/or lethal factor (LF) components. Six of these VHHs are cross-reactive against both EF and LF and recognize the N-terminal domain (LFN, EFN) of their target(s) with subnanomolar affinity. The cross-reactive VHHs block binding of EF/LF to the protective antigen C-terminal binding interface, preventing toxin entry into the cell. Another VHH appears to recognize the LF C-terminal domain and exhibits a kinetic effect on substrate cleavage by LF. A subset of the VHHs neutralized against EF and/or LF in murine macrophage assays, and the neutralizing VHHs that were tested improved survival of mice in a spore model of anthrax infection. Finally, a bispecific VNA (VHH-based neutralizing agent) consisting of two linked toxin-neutralizing VHHs, JMN-D10 and JMO-G1, was fully protective against lethal anthrax spore infection in mice as a single dose. This set of VHHs should facilitate development of new therapeutic VNAs and/or diagnostic agents for anthrax. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  11. The Tip of the Four N-Terminal α-Helices of Clostridium sordellii Lethal Toxin Contains the Interaction Site with Membrane Phosphatidylserine Facilitating Small GTPases Glucosylation

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    Carolina Varela Chavez

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin (TcsL is a powerful virulence factor responsible for severe toxic shock in man and animals. TcsL belongs to the large clostridial glucosylating toxin (LCGT family which inactivates small GTPases by glucosylation with uridine-diphosphate (UDP-glucose as a cofactor. Notably, TcsL modifies Rac and Ras GTPases, leading to drastic alteration of the actin cytoskeleton and cell viability. TcsL enters cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis and delivers the N-terminal glucosylating domain (TcsL-cat into the cytosol. TcsL-cat was found to preferentially bind to phosphatidylserine (PS-containing membranes and to increase the glucosylation of Rac anchored to the lipid membrane. We have previously reported that the N-terminal four helical bundle structure (1–93 domain recognizes a broad range of lipids, but that TcsL-cat specifically binds to PS and phosphatidic acid. Here, we show using mutagenesis that the PS binding site is localized on the tip of the four-helix bundle which is rich in positively-charged amino acids. Residues Y14, V15, F17, and R18 on loop 1, between helices 1 and 2, in coordination with R68 from loop 3, between helices 3 and 4, form a pocket which accommodates L-serine. The functional PS-binding site is required for TcsL-cat binding to the plasma membrane and subsequent cytotoxicity. TcsL-cat binding to PS facilitates a high enzymatic activity towards membrane-anchored Ras by about three orders of magnitude as compared to Ras in solution. The PS-binding site is conserved in LCGTs, which likely retain a common mechanism of binding to the membrane for their full activity towards membrane-bound GTPases.

  12. The Tip of the Four N-Terminal α-Helices of Clostridium sordellii Lethal Toxin Contains the Interaction Site with Membrane Phosphatidylserine Facilitating Small GTPases Glucosylation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela Chavez, Carolina; Haustant, Georges Michel; Baron, Bruno; England, Patrick; Chenal, Alexandre; Pauillac, Serge; Blondel, Arnaud; Popoff, Michel-Robert

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin (TcsL) is a powerful virulence factor responsible for severe toxic shock in man and animals. TcsL belongs to the large clostridial glucosylating toxin (LCGT) family which inactivates small GTPases by glucosylation with uridine-diphosphate (UDP)-glucose as a cofactor. Notably, TcsL modifies Rac and Ras GTPases, leading to drastic alteration of the actin cytoskeleton and cell viability. TcsL enters cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis and delivers the N-terminal glucosylating domain (TcsL-cat) into the cytosol. TcsL-cat was found to preferentially bind to phosphatidylserine (PS)-containing membranes and to increase the glucosylation of Rac anchored to the lipid membrane. We have previously reported that the N-terminal four helical bundle structure (1–93 domain) recognizes a broad range of lipids, but that TcsL-cat specifically binds to PS and phosphatidic acid. Here, we show using mutagenesis that the PS binding site is localized on the tip of the four-helix bundle which is rich in positively-charged amino acids. Residues Y14, V15, F17, and R18 on loop 1, between helices 1 and 2, in coordination with R68 from loop 3, between helices 3 and 4, form a pocket which accommodates L-serine. The functional PS-binding site is required for TcsL-cat binding to the plasma membrane and subsequent cytotoxicity. TcsL-cat binding to PS facilitates a high enzymatic activity towards membrane-anchored Ras by about three orders of magnitude as compared to Ras in solution. The PS-binding site is conserved in LCGTs, which likely retain a common mechanism of binding to the membrane for their full activity towards membrane-bound GTPases. PMID:27023605

  13. Disruption?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2016-01-01

    This is a short video on the theme disruption and entrepreneurship. It takes the form of an interview with John Murray......This is a short video on the theme disruption and entrepreneurship. It takes the form of an interview with John Murray...

  14. Disruption?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2016-01-01

    This is a short video on the theme disruption and entrepreneurship. It takes the form of an interview with John Murray......This is a short video on the theme disruption and entrepreneurship. It takes the form of an interview with John Murray...

  15. Secretory expression and efficient purification of recombinant anthrax toxin lethal factor with full biological activity in E. coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ju; Cai, Chenguang; Guo, Qiang; Zhang, Jun; Dong, Dayong; Li, Guanlin; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2013-05-01

    Lethal factor (LF), a virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, plays key roles in anthrax pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. The detailed mechanisms by which LF contributes to infection are still under investigation. While these studies require pure, homogeneous and reliable LF preparations, most methods reported for production of recombinant LF (rLF) in B. anthracis or Escherichia coli either are complicated or add extra residues to the protein. In this work, we modified our previous method by codon optimization and chromatograph workflow refinement and developed an improved strategy for efficient production of rLF from the periplasm of E. coli. We were able to obtain fully functional rLF with a purity above 95% and with a considerable yield of 5 mg/L. The preparation was characterized by SDS-PAGE, Western blot, and N-terminal sequencing, and the activity was validated by intoxication of macrophages and Fischer 344 rats. Our final product is suitable for most research involving drug development and mechanism analysis of anthrax pathogenesis.

  16. Toxins in Botanical Dietary Supplements: Blue Cohosh Components Disrupt Cellular Respiration and Mitochondrial Membrane Potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Sandipan; Mahdi, Fakhri; Ali, Zulfiqar; Jekabsons, Mika B.; Khan, Ikhlas A.; Nagle, Dale G.; Zhou, Yu-Dong

    2014-01-01

    Certain botanical dietary supplements have been associated with idiosyncratic organ-specific toxicity. Similar toxicological events, caused by drug-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, have forced the withdrawal or U.S. FDA “Black Box” warnings of major pharmaceuticals. To assess the potential mitochondrial liability of botanical dietary supplements, extracts from 352 authenticated plant samples used in traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Western herbal medicine were evaluated for the ability to disrupt cellular respiration. Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) methanol extract exhibited mitochondriotoxic activity. Used by some U.S. midwives to help induce labor, blue cohosh has been associated with perinatal stroke, acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, multiple organ injury, and neonatal shock. The potential link between mitochondrial disruption and idiosyncratic herbal intoxication prompted further examination. The C. thalictroides methanol extract and three saponins, cauloside A (1), saponin PE (2), and cauloside C (3) exhibited concentration- and time-dependent mitochondriotoxic activities. Upon treatment, cell respiration rate rapidly increased and then dramatically decreased within minutes. Mechanistic studies revealed that C. thalictroides constituents impair mitochondrial function by disrupting membrane integrity. These studies provide a potential etiological link between this mitochondria-sensitive form of cytotoxicity and idiosyncratic organ damage. PMID:24328138

  17. Toxins in botanical dietary supplements: blue cohosh components disrupt cellular respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Sandipan; Mahdi, Fakhri; Ali, Zulfiqar; Jekabsons, Mika B; Khan, Ikhlas A; Nagle, Dale G; Zhou, Yu-Dong

    2014-01-24

    Certain botanical dietary supplements have been associated with idiosyncratic organ-specific toxicity. Similar toxicological events, caused by drug-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, have forced the withdrawal or U.S. FDA "black box" warnings of major pharmaceuticals. To assess the potential mitochondrial liability of botanical dietary supplements, extracts from 352 authenticated plant samples used in traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Western herbal medicine were evaluated for the ability to disrupt cellular respiration. Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) methanol extract exhibited mitochondriotoxic activity. Used by some U.S. midwives to help induce labor, blue cohosh has been associated with perinatal stroke, acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, multiple organ injury, and neonatal shock. The potential link between mitochondrial disruption and idiosyncratic herbal intoxication prompted further examination. The C. thalictroides methanol extract and three saponins, cauloside A (1), saponin PE (2), and cauloside C (3), exhibited concentration- and time-dependent mitochondriotoxic activities. Upon treatment, cell respiration rate rapidly increased and then dramatically decreased within minutes. Mechanistic studies revealed that C. thalictroides constituents impair mitochondrial function by disrupting membrane integrity. These studies provide a potential etiological link between this mitochondria-sensitive form of cytotoxicity and idiosyncratic organ damage.

  18. Cytoskeleton as an Emerging Target of Anthrax Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Nicolas Tournier

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, the agent of anthrax, has gained virulence through its exotoxins produced by vegetative bacilli and is composed of three components forming lethal toxin (LT and edema toxin (ET. So far, little is known about the effects of these toxins on the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Here, we provide an overview on the general effects of toxin upon the cytoskeleton architecture. Thus, we shall discuss how anthrax toxins interact with their receptors and may disrupt the interface between extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton. We then analyze what toxin molecular effects on cytoskeleton have been described, before discussing how the cytoskeleton may help the pathogen to corrupt general cell processes such as phagocytosis or vascular integrity.

  19. Anthrax lethal toxin induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization and cytosolic cathepsin release is Nlrp1b/Nalp1b-dependent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen M Averette

    Full Text Available NOD-like receptors (NLRs are a group of cytoplasmic molecules that recognize microbial invasion or 'danger signals'. Activation of NLRs can induce rapid caspase-1 dependent cell death termed pyroptosis, or a caspase-1 independent cell death termed pyronecrosis. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT, is recognized by a subset of alleles of the NLR protein Nlrp1b, resulting in pyroptotic cell death of macrophages and dendritic cells. Here we show that LT induces lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP. The presentation of LMP requires expression of an LT-responsive allele of Nlrp1b, and is blocked by proteasome inhibitors and heat shock, both of which prevent LT-mediated pyroptosis. Further the lysosomal protease cathepsin B is released into the cell cytosol and cathepsin inhibitors block LT-mediated cell death. These data reveal a role for lysosomal membrane permeabilization in the cellular response to bacterial pathogens and demonstrate a shared requirement for cytosolic relocalization of cathepsins in pyroptosis and pyronecrosis.

  20. Embryo-lethal phenotypes in early abp1 mutants are due to disruption of the neighboring BSM gene

    OpenAIRE

    Michalko, Jaroslav; Dravecká, Marta; Bollenbach, Tobias; Friml, Jiří

    2015-01-01

    The Auxin Binding Protein1 (ABP1) has been identified based on its ability to bind auxin with high affinity and studied for a long time as a prime candidate for the extracellular auxin receptor responsible for mediating in particular the fast non-transcriptional auxin responses. However, the contradiction between the embryo-lethal phenotypes of the originally described Arabidopsis T-DNA insertional knock-out alleles (abp1-1 and abp1-1s) and the wild type-like phenotypes of other recently desc...

  1. Tetanus toxin light chain expression in Sertoli cells of transgenic mice causes alterations of the actin cytoskeleton and disrupts spermatogenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisel, Ulrich; Reynolds, Kay; Riddick, Michelle; Zimmer, Anne; Niemann, Heiner; Zimmer, Andreas; Gruss, P.

    Tetanus toxin is a powerful neurotoxin known to inhibit neurotransmitter release. The tetanus toxin light chain is a metalloprotease that cleaves some members of the synaptobrevin gene family with high specificity. Here, we report the expression of a synthetic gene encoding the tetanus toxin light

  2. Tetanus toxin light chain expression in Sertoli cells of transgenic mice causes alterations of the actin cytoskeleton and disrupts spermatogenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisel, Ulrich; Reynolds, Kay; Riddick, Michelle; Zimmer, Anne; Niemann, Heiner; Zimmer, Andreas; Gruss, P.

    1993-01-01

    Tetanus toxin is a powerful neurotoxin known to inhibit neurotransmitter release. The tetanus toxin light chain is a metalloprotease that cleaves some members of the synaptobrevin gene family with high specificity. Here, we report the expression of a synthetic gene encoding the tetanus toxin light c

  3. The Effector Domain Region of the Vibrio vulnificus MARTX Toxin Confers Biphasic Epithelial Barrier Disruption and Is Essential for Systemic Spread from the Intestine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah E Gavin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Vibrio vulnificus causes highly lethal bacterial infections in which the Multifunctional Autoprocessing Repeats-in-Toxins (MARTX toxin product of the rtxA1 gene is a key virulence factor. MARTX toxins are secreted proteins up to 5208 amino acids in size. Conserved MARTX N- and C-terminal repeat regions work in concert to form pores in eukaryotic cell membranes, through which the toxin's central region of modular effector domains is translocated. Upon inositol hexakisphosphate-induced activation of the of the MARTX cysteine protease domain (CPD in the eukaryotic cytosol, effector domains are released from the holotoxin by autoproteolytic activity. We previously reported that the native MARTX toxin effector domain repertoire is dispensable for epithelial cellular necrosis in vitro, but essential for cell rounding and apoptosis prior to necrotic cell death. Here we use an intragastric mouse model to demonstrate that the effector domain region is required for bacterial virulence during intragastric infection. The MARTX effector domain region is essential for bacterial dissemination from the intestine, but dissemination occurs in the absence of overt intestinal tissue pathology. We employ an in vitro model of V. vulnificus interaction with polarized colonic epithelial cells to show that the MARTX effector domain region induces rapid intestinal barrier dysfunction and increased paracellular permeability prior to onset of cell lysis. Together, these results negate the inherent assumption that observations of necrosis in vitro directly predict bacterial virulence, and indicate a paradigm shift in our conceptual understanding of MARTX toxin function during intestinal infection. Results implicate the MARTX effector domain region in mediating early bacterial dissemination from the intestine to distal organs-a key step in V. vulnificus foodborne pathogenesis-even before onset of overt intestinal pathology.

  4. Enteric Pathogens and Their Toxin-Induced Disruption of the Intestinal Barrier through Alteration of Tight Junctions in Chickens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awad, Wageha A.; Hess, Claudia; Hess, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Maintaining a healthy gut environment is a prerequisite for sustainable animal production. The gut plays a key role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients and constitutes an initial organ exposed to external factors influencing bird’s health. The intestinal epithelial barrier serves as the first line of defense between the host and the luminal environment. It consists of a continuous monolayer of intestinal epithelial cells connected by intercellular junctional complexes which shrink the space between adjacent cells. Consequently, free passing of solutes and water via the paracellular pathway is prevented. Tight junctions (TJs) are multi-protein complexes which are crucial for the integrity and function of the epithelial barrier as they not only link cells but also form channels allowing permeation between cells, resulting in epithelial surfaces of different tightness. Tight junction’s molecular composition, ultrastructure, and function are regulated differently with regard to physiological and pathological stimuli. Both in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that reduced tight junction integrity greatly results in a condition commonly known as “leaky gut”. A loss of barrier integrity allows the translocation of luminal antigens (microbes, toxins) via the mucosa to access the whole body which are normally excluded and subsequently destroys the gut mucosal homeostasis, coinciding with an increased susceptibility to systemic infection, chronic inflammation and malabsorption. There is considerable evidence that the intestinal barrier dysfunction is an important factor contributing to the pathogenicity of some enteric bacteria. It has been shown that some enteric pathogens can induce permeability defects in gut epithelia by altering tight junction proteins, mediated by their toxins. Resolving the strategies that microorganisms use to hijack the functions of tight junctions is important for our understanding of microbial pathogenesis, because some pathogens

  5. Enteric Pathogens and Their Toxin-Induced Disruption of the Intestinal Barrier through Alteration of Tight Junctions in Chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wageha A. Awad

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Maintaining a healthy gut environment is a prerequisite for sustainable animal production. The gut plays a key role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients and constitutes an initial organ exposed to external factors influencing bird’s health. The intestinal epithelial barrier serves as the first line of defense between the host and the luminal environment. It consists of a continuous monolayer of intestinal epithelial cells connected by intercellular junctional complexes which shrink the space between adjacent cells. Consequently, free passing of solutes and water via the paracellular pathway is prevented. Tight junctions (TJs are multi-protein complexes which are crucial for the integrity and function of the epithelial barrier as they not only link cells but also form channels allowing permeation between cells, resulting in epithelial surfaces of different tightness. Tight junction’s molecular composition, ultrastructure, and function are regulated differently with regard to physiological and pathological stimuli. Both in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that reduced tight junction integrity greatly results in a condition commonly known as “leaky gut”. A loss of barrier integrity allows the translocation of luminal antigens (microbes, toxins via the mucosa to access the whole body which are normally excluded and subsequently destroys the gut mucosal homeostasis, coinciding with an increased susceptibility to systemic infection, chronic inflammation and malabsorption. There is considerable evidence that the intestinal barrier dysfunction is an important factor contributing to the pathogenicity of some enteric bacteria. It has been shown that some enteric pathogens can induce permeability defects in gut epithelia by altering tight junction proteins, mediated by their toxins. Resolving the strategies that microorganisms use to hijack the functions of tight junctions is important for our understanding of microbial pathogenesis

  6. The Effector Domain Region of the Vibrio vulnificus MARTX Toxin Confers Biphasic Epithelial Barrier Disruption and Is Essential for Systemic Spread from the Intestine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Hannah E.; Beubier, Nike T.

    2017-01-01

    Vibrio vulnificus causes highly lethal bacterial infections in which the Multifunctional Autoprocessing Repeats-in-Toxins (MARTX) toxin product of the rtxA1 gene is a key virulence factor. MARTX toxins are secreted proteins up to 5208 amino acids in size. Conserved MARTX N- and C-terminal repeat regions work in concert to form pores in eukaryotic cell membranes, through which the toxin’s central region of modular effector domains is translocated. Upon inositol hexakisphosphate-induced activation of the of the MARTX cysteine protease domain (CPD) in the eukaryotic cytosol, effector domains are released from the holotoxin by autoproteolytic activity. We previously reported that the native MARTX toxin effector domain repertoire is dispensable for epithelial cellular necrosis in vitro, but essential for cell rounding and apoptosis prior to necrotic cell death. Here we use an intragastric mouse model to demonstrate that the effector domain region is required for bacterial virulence during intragastric infection. The MARTX effector domain region is essential for bacterial dissemination from the intestine, but dissemination occurs in the absence of overt intestinal tissue pathology. We employ an in vitro model of V. vulnificus interaction with polarized colonic epithelial cells to show that the MARTX effector domain region induces rapid intestinal barrier dysfunction and increased paracellular permeability prior to onset of cell lysis. Together, these results negate the inherent assumption that observations of necrosis in vitro directly predict bacterial virulence, and indicate a paradigm shift in our conceptual understanding of MARTX toxin function during intestinal infection. Results implicate the MARTX effector domain region in mediating early bacterial dissemination from the intestine to distal organs–a key step in V. vulnificus foodborne pathogenesis–even before onset of overt intestinal pathology. PMID:28060924

  7. Targeted Silencing of Anthrax Toxin Receptors Protects against Anthrax Toxins*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arévalo, Maria T.; Navarro, Ashley; Arico, Chenoa D.; Li, Junwei; Alkhatib, Omar; Chen, Shan; Diaz-Arévalo, Diana; Zeng, Mingtao

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax spores can be aerosolized and dispersed as a bioweapon. Current postexposure treatments are inadequate at later stages of infection, when high levels of anthrax toxins are present. Anthrax toxins enter cells via two identified anthrax toxin receptors: tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2). We hypothesized that host cells would be protected from anthrax toxins if anthrax toxin receptor expression was effectively silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Thus, anthrax toxin receptors in mouse and human macrophages were silenced using targeted siRNAs or blocked with specific antibody prior to challenge with anthrax lethal toxin. Viability assays were used to assess protection in macrophages treated with specific siRNA or antibody as compared with untreated cells. Silencing CMG2 using targeted siRNAs provided almost complete protection against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cytotoxicity and death in murine and human macrophages. The same results were obtained by prebinding cells with specific antibody prior to treatment with anthrax lethal toxin. In addition, TEM8-targeted siRNAs also offered significant protection against lethal toxin in human macrophage-like cells. Furthermore, silencing CMG2, TEM8, or both receptors in combination was also protective against MEK2 cleavage by lethal toxin or adenylyl cyclase activity by edema toxin in human kidney cells. Thus, anthrax toxin receptor-targeted RNAi has the potential to be developed as a life-saving, postexposure therapy against anthrax. PMID:24742682

  8. Anti-bacterial and anti-toxic immunity induced by a killed whole-cell-cholera toxin B subunit cholera vaccine is essential for protection against lethal bacterial infection in mouse pulmonary cholera model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, S-S; Yang, J S; Kim, K W; Yun, C-H; Holmgren, J; Czerkinsky, C; Han, S H

    2013-07-01

    The lack of appropriate animal model for studying protective immunity has limited vaccine development against cholera. Here, we demonstrate a pulmonary cholera model conferred by intranasal administration of mice with live Vibrio cholerae. The bacterial components, but not cholera toxin, caused lethal and acute pneumonia by inducing massive inflammation. Intranasal immunization with Dukoral, comprising killed whole bacteria and recombinant cholera toxin B subunit (rCTB), developed both mucosal and systemic antibody responses with protection against the lethal challenge. Either rCTB-free Dukoral or rCTB alone partially protected the mice against the challenge. However, reconstitution of rCTB-free Dukoral with rCTB restored full protection. Parenteral immunization with Dukoral evoked strong systemic immunity without induction of mucosal immunity or protection from the challenge. These results suggest that both anti-bacterial and anti-toxic immunity are required for protection against V. cholerae-induced pneumonia, and this animal model is useful for pre-clinical evaluation of candidate cholera vaccines.

  9. Staphylococcus aureus α-Toxin: Nearly a Century of Intrigue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan J. Berube

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus secretes a number of host-injurious toxins, among the most prominent of which is the small β-barrel pore-forming toxin α-hemolysin. Initially named based on its properties as a red blood cell lytic toxin, early studies suggested a far greater complexity of α-hemolysin action as nucleated cells also exhibited distinct responses to intoxication. The hemolysin, most aptly referred to as α-toxin based on its broad range of cellular specificity, has long been recognized as an important cause of injury in the context of both skin necrosis and lethal infection. The recent identification of ADAM10 as a cellular receptor for α-toxin has provided keen insight on the biology of toxin action during disease pathogenesis, demonstrating the molecular mechanisms by which the toxin causes tissue barrier disruption at host interfaces lined by epithelial or endothelial cells. This review highlights both the historical studies that laid the groundwork for nearly a century of research on α-toxin and key findings on the structural and functional biology of the toxin, in addition to discussing emerging observations that have significantly expanded our understanding of this toxin in S. aureus disease. The identification of ADAM10 as a proteinaceous receptor for the toxin not only provides a greater appreciation of truths uncovered by many historic studies, but now affords the opportunity to more extensively probe and understand the role of α-toxin in modulation of the complex interaction of S. aureus with its human host.

  10. Blood-brain barrier disruption in CCL2 transgenic mice during pertussis toxin-induced brain inflammation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schellenberg, Angela E; Buist, Richard; Del Bigio, Marc R

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The chemokine CCL2 has an important role in the recruitment of inflammatory cells into the central nervous system (CNS). A transgenic mouse model that overexpresses CCL2 in the CNS shows an accumulation of leukocytes within the perivascular space surrounding vessels, which i...... of disruption in endothelial tight junctions was observed. CONCLUSION: Genetic and environmental stimuli were needed to disrupt the integrity of the BBB in this model of neuroinflammation....

  11. Phospho-MEK1/2 and uPAR Expression Determine Sensitivity of AML Blasts to a Urokinase-Activated Anthrax Lethal Toxin (PrAgU2/LF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amira Bekdash

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we attempt to target both the urokinase plasminogen activator and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in acute myeloid leukemia (AML cell lines and primary AML blasts using PrAgU2/LF, a urokinase-activated anthrax lethal toxin. PrAgU2/LF was cytotoxic to five out of nine AML cell lines. Cytotoxicity of PrAgU2/LF appeared to be nonapoptotic and was associated with MAPK activation and urokinase activity because all the PrAgU2/LF-sensitive cell lines showed both uPAR expression and high levels of MEK1/2 phosphorylation. Inhibition of uPAR or desensitization of cells to MEK1/2 inhibition blocked toxicity of PrAgU2/LF, indicating requirement for both uPAR expression and MAPK activation for activity. PrAgU2/LF was also cytotoxic to primary blasts from AML patients, with blasts from four out of five patients showing a cytotoxic response to PrAgU2/LF. Cytotoxicity of primary AML blasts was also dependent on uPAR expression and phos-MEK1/2 levels. CD34+ bone marrow blasts and peripheral blood mononuclear cells lacked uPAR expression and were resistant to PrAgU2/LF, demonstrating the lack of toxicity to normal hematological cells and, therefore, the tumor selectivity of this approach. Dose escalation in mice revealed that the maximal tolerated dose of PrAgU2/LF is at least 5.7-fold higher than that of the wild-type anthrax lethal toxin, PrAg/LF, further demonstrating the increased safety of this molecule. We have shown, in this study, that PrAgU2/LF is a novel, dual-specific molecule for the selective targeting of AML.

  12. Investigation of a panel of monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal sera against anthrax toxins resulted in identification of an anti-lethal factor antibody with disease-enhancing characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulshreshtha, Parul; Tiwari, Ashutosh; Priyanka; Joon, Shikha; Sinha, Subrata; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-12-01

    Hybridomas were created using spleen of mice that were actively immunized with rLFn (recombinant N-terminal domain of lethal factor). Later on, separate group of mice were immunized with rLFn to obtain a polyclonal control for passive immunization studies of monoclonal antibodies. This led to the identification of one cohort of rLFn-immnized mice that harboured disease-enhancing polyclonal antibodies. At the same time, the monoclonal antibodies secreted by all the hybridomas were being tested. Two hybridomas secreted monoclonal antibodies (H10 and H8) that were cross-reactive with EF (edema factor) and LF (lethal factor), while the other two hybridomas secreted LF-specific antibodies (H7 and H11). Single chain variable fragment (LETscFv) was derived from H10 hybridoma. H11 was found to have disease-enhancing property. Combination of H11 with protective monoclonal antibodies (H8 and H10) reduced its disease enhancing nature. This in vitro abrogation of disease-enhancement provides the proof of concept that in polyclonal sera the disease enhancing character of a fraction of antibodies is overshadowed by the protective nature of the rest of the antibodies generated on active immunization.

  13. Disruption of lolCDE, Encoding an ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter, Is Lethal for Escherichia coli and Prevents Release of Lipoproteins from the Inner Membrane

    OpenAIRE

    Narita, Shin-ichiro; Tanaka, Kimie; Matsuyama, Shin-ichi; Tokuda, Hajime

    2002-01-01

    ATP-binding cassette transporter LolCDE was previously identified, by using reconstituted proteoliposomes, as an apparatus catalyzing the release of outer membrane-specific lipoproteins from the inner membrane of Escherichia coli. Mutations resulting in defective LolD were previously shown to be lethal for E. coli. The amino acid sequences of LolC and LolE are similar to each other, but the necessity of both proteins for lipoprotein release has not been proved. Moreover, previous reconstituti...

  14. Zinc oxide nanoparticles provide anti-cholera activity by disrupting the interaction of cholera toxin with the human GM1 receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarwar, Shamila; Ali, Asif; Pal, Mahadeb; Chakrabarti, Pinak

    2017-09-07

    Vibrio cholerae causes cholera and is the leading cause of diarrhea in the developing countries, highlighting the need for the development of new treatment strategies to combat this disease agent. While exploring the possibility of using zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) in cholera treatment, we previously found that ZnO NPs reduce fluid accumulation in mouse ileum induced by the cholera toxin (CT) protein. To uncover the mechanism of action of ZnO NPs on CT activity, here we used classical (O395) and El Tor (C6706) V. cholerae biotypes in growth and biochemical assays. We found that a ZnO NP concentration of 10 µg/ml did not affect the growth rates of these two strains, nor did we observe that ZnO NPs reduce the expression levels of CT mRNA and protein. It was observed that ZnO NPs form a complex with CT, appear to disrupt the CT secondary structure, and block its interaction with the GM1 ganglioside receptor in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane in intestinal (HT-29) cells and thereby reduce CT uptake into the cells. In the range of 2.5-10 µg/ml, ZnO NPs exhibited no cytotoxicity on kidney (HEK293) and HT-29 cells. We conclude that ZnO NPs prevent the first step in the translocation of cholera toxin into intestinal epithelial cells without exerting measurable toxic effects on HEK293 and HT-29 cells. Copyright © 2017, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  15. Embryo-lethal phenotypes in early abp1 mutants are due to disruption of the neighboring BSM gene [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    OpenAIRE

    Jaroslav Michalko; Marta Dravecká; Tobias Bollenbach; Jiří Friml

    2015-01-01

    The Auxin Binding Protein1 (ABP1) has been identified based on its ability to bind auxin with high affinity and studied for a long time as a prime candidate for the extracellular auxin receptor responsible for mediating in particular the fast non-transcriptional auxin responses. However, the contradiction between the embryo-lethal phenotypes of the originally described Arabidopsis T-DNA insertional knock-out alleles ( abp1-1 and abp1-1s) and the wild type-like phenotypes of other recently des...

  16. The removal of endocrine disrupting compounds, pharmaceutically activated compounds and cyanobacterial toxins during drinking water preparation using activated carbon--a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Luis F; Charles, Philippe; Glucina, Karl; Morlay, Catherine

    2012-10-01

    This paper provides a review of recent scientific research on the removal by activated carbon (AC) in drinking water (DW) treatment of 1) two classes of currently unregulated trace level contaminants with potential chronic toxicity-pharmaceutically activate compounds (PhACs) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs); 2) cyanobacterial toxins (CyBTs), which are a group of highly toxic and regulated compounds (as microcystin-LR); and 3) the above mentioned compounds by the hybrid system powdered AC/membrane filtration. The influence of solute and AC properties, as well as the competitive effect from background natural organic matter on the adsorption of such trace contaminants, are also considered. In addition, a number of adsorption isotherm parameters reported for PhACs, EDCs and CyBTs are presented herein. AC adsorption has proven to be an effective removal process for such trace contaminants without generating transformation products. This process appears to be a crucial step in order to minimize PhACs, EDCs and CyBTs in finished DW, hence calling for further studies on AC adsorption removal of these compounds. Finally, a priority chart of PhACs and EDCs warranting further study for the removal by AC adsorption is proposed based on the compounds' structural characteristics and their low removal by AC compared to the other compounds.

  17. Shiga Toxin 2-Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Is Minimized by Activated Protein C but Does Not Correlate with Lethal Kidney Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin S. L. Parello

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli produce ribotoxic Shiga toxins (Stx, which are responsible for kidney injury and development of hemolytic uremic syndrome. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress response is hypothesized to induce apoptosis contributing to organ injury; however, this process has been described only in vitro. ER stress marker transcripts of spliced XBP1 (1.78-fold, HSP40 (4.45-fold and CHOP (7.69-fold were up-regulated early in kidneys of Stx2 challenged mice compared to saline controls. Anti-apoptotic Bcl2 decreased (−2.41-fold vs. saline and pro-apoptotic DR5 increased (6.38-fold vs. saline at later time points. Cytoprotective activated protein C (APC reduced early CHOP expression (−3.3-fold vs. untreated, increased later Bcl2 expression (5.8-fold vs. untreated, and had early effects on survival but did not alter DR5 expression. Changes in kidney ER stress and apoptotic marker transcripts were observed in Stx2-producing C. rodentium challenged mice compared to mice infected with a non-toxigenic control strain. CHOP (4.14-fold and DR5 (2.81-fold were increased and Bcl2 (−1.65-fold was decreased. APC reduced CHOP expression and increased Bcl2 expression, but did not alter mortality. These data indicate that Stx2 induces renal ER stress and apoptosis in murine models of Stx2-induced kidney injury, but decreasing these processes alone was not sufficient to alter survival outcome.

  18. Shiga Toxin 2-Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Is Minimized by Activated Protein C but Does Not Correlate with Lethal Kidney Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parello, Caitlin S. L.; Mayer, Chad L.; Lee, Benjamin C.; Motomochi, Amanda; Kurosawa, Shinichiro; Stearns-Kurosawa, Deborah J.

    2015-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli produce ribotoxic Shiga toxins (Stx), which are responsible for kidney injury and development of hemolytic uremic syndrome. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response is hypothesized to induce apoptosis contributing to organ injury; however, this process has been described only in vitro. ER stress marker transcripts of spliced XBP1 (1.78-fold), HSP40 (4.45-fold) and CHOP (7.69-fold) were up-regulated early in kidneys of Stx2 challenged mice compared to saline controls. Anti-apoptotic Bcl2 decreased (−2.41-fold vs. saline) and pro-apoptotic DR5 increased (6.38-fold vs. saline) at later time points. Cytoprotective activated protein C (APC) reduced early CHOP expression (−3.3-fold vs. untreated), increased later Bcl2 expression (5.8-fold vs. untreated), and had early effects on survival but did not alter DR5 expression. Changes in kidney ER stress and apoptotic marker transcripts were observed in Stx2-producing C. rodentium challenged mice compared to mice infected with a non-toxigenic control strain. CHOP (4.14-fold) and DR5 (2.81-fold) were increased and Bcl2 (−1.65-fold) was decreased. APC reduced CHOP expression and increased Bcl2 expression, but did not alter mortality. These data indicate that Stx2 induces renal ER stress and apoptosis in murine models of Stx2-induced kidney injury, but decreasing these processes alone was not sufficient to alter survival outcome. PMID:25609181

  19. Disruption of NBS1 gene leads to early embryonic lethality in homozygous null mice and induces specific cancer in heterozygous mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kurimasa, Akihiro; Burma, Sandeep; Henrie, Melinda; Ouyang, Honghai; Osaki, Mitsuhiko; Ito, Hisao; Nagasawa, Hatsumi; Little, John B.; Oshimura, Mitsuo; Li, Gloria C.; Chen, David J.

    2002-04-15

    Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) is a rare autosomal recessive chromosome instability syndrome characterized by microcephaly, growth retardation, immunodeficiency, and cancer predisposition, with cellular features similar to that of ataxia telangiectasia (AT). NBS results from mutations in the mammalian gene Nbs1 that codes for a 95-kDa protein called nibrin, NBS1, or p95. To establish an animal model for NBS, we attempted to generate NBS1 knockout mice. However, NBS1 gene knockouts were lethal at an early embryonic stage. NBS1 homozygous(-/-) blastocyst cells cultured in vitro showed retarded growth and subsequently underwent growth arrest within 5 days of culture. Apoptosis, assayed by TUNEL staining, was observed in NBSI homozygous(-/-) blastocyst cells cultured for four days. NBSI heterozygous(+/-) mice were normal, and exhibited no specific phenotype for at least one year. However, fibroblast cells from NBSI heterozygous(+/-) mice displayed an enhanced frequency of spontaneous transformation to anchorage-independent growth as compared to NBS1 wild-type(+/+) cells. Furthermore, heterozygous(+/-) mice exhibited a high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma after one year compared to wild-type mice, even though no significant differences in the incidence of other tumors such as lung adenocarcinoma and lymphoma were observed. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that NBS1 heterozygosity and reduced NBSI expression induces formation of specific tumors in mice.

  20. Lethal factor, but not edema factor, is required to cause fatal anthrax in cynomolgus macaques after pulmonary spore challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutt, Julie A; Lovchik, Julie A; Drysdale, Melissa; Sherwood, Robert L; Brasel, Trevor; Lipscomb, Mary F; Lyons, C Rick

    2014-12-01

    Inhalational anthrax is caused by inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores. The ability of B. anthracis to cause anthrax is attributed to the plasmid-encoded A/B-type toxins, edema toxin (edema factor and protective antigen) and lethal toxin (lethal factor and protective antigen), and a poly-d-glutamic acid capsule. To better understand the contribution of these toxins to the disease pathophysiology in vivo, we used B. anthracis Ames strain and isogenic toxin deletion mutants derived from the Ames strain to examine the role of lethal toxin and edema toxin after pulmonary spore challenge of cynomolgus macaques. Lethal toxin, but not edema toxin, was required to induce sustained bacteremia and death after pulmonary challenge with spores delivered via bronchoscopy. After intravenous challenge with bacilli to model the systemic phase of infection, lethal toxin contributed to bacterial proliferation and subsequent host death to a greater extent than edema toxin. Deletion of protective antigen resulted in greater loss of virulence after intravenous challenge with bacilli than deletion of lethal toxin or edema toxin alone. These findings are consistent with the ability of anti-protective antigen antibodies to prevent anthrax and suggest that lethal factor is the dominant toxin that contributes to the escape of significant numbers of bacilli from the thoracic cavity to cause anthrax after inhalation challenge with spores.

  1. Lethal factor VII deficiency due to novel mutations in the F7 promoter: functional analysis reveals disruption of HNF4 binding site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giansily-Blaizot, Muriel; Lopez, Estelle; Viart, Victoria; Chafa, Ouerdia; Tapon-Bretaudière, Jacqueline; Claustres, Mireille; Taulan, Magali

    2012-08-01

    Hereditary factor VII (FVII) deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive disorder. Deleterious mutations that prevent the synthesis of any amount of functional FVII have been associated with life-threatening haemorrhage in neonates. Here we report two infants, of Maghrebian origin, who suffered a fatal spontaneous cerebral haemorrhage. Investigation of the molecular basis for their severe FVII deficiency revealed novel mutations in a homozygous state within the F7 gene promoter: a single nucleotide substitution (c.-65G>C) and a 2bp deletion (c.-60_-59delTT). To determine whether these promoter variants were responsible for the FVII deficiency, computer-assisted sequence analyses were performed. The data predicted a disrupted binding of both HNF4 and COUP-TF transcription factors with each variant. Concordantly, experimental results revealed an altered HNF4-induced transactivation in the promoter mutated variants. The execution of functional tests is critical to ensuring a complete understanding of the effect of any promoter mutant on FVII deficiency. Only then can an accurate molecular diagnosis be made and further genetic counselling and prenatal diagnosis be offered.

  2. Development of a cytotoxicity-based method for detection of anthrax toxin lethal factor in blood%利用细胞毒性实验检测血液中炭疽毒素致死因子的方法学研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘炬; 郭强; 张军; 吴诗坡; 董大勇; 李亮亮; 付玲; 徐俊杰; 陈薇

    2013-01-01

    Objective To establish a simple , rapid and sensitive method for detection of anthrax lethal factor in blood . Methods J774A. 1 Cell, which is highly sensitive to anthrax lethal toxin , was used as an indicator to detect LF in blood. The protective antigen (PA) and blood plasma concentration was optimized to yield higher sensitivity in the assay . Verification was carried out with the samples from Fischer rats injected with anthrax lethal factor . Results The PA and blood plas -ma concentration was optimized and a cytotoxicity -based method , which could detect as low as 5 ng/ml LF in the plasma, was established. Samples from Fischer rats injected with anthrax lethal factor could be measured accurately and the half life of LF in the blood of rats was estimated at 4. 8 -6. 5 h. Conclusion A cytotoxicity-based method for detection of anthrax toxin lethal factor in the blood plasma is developed , which exhibits advantages in sensitivity , economy, and practice while facilitating clinical detection of anthrax toxins , therapy and basic research of anthrax.%目的 探索利用炭疽毒素致死因子(lethal factor,LF)的细胞毒性检测血液中LF的可行性,为炭疽的临床检测、治疗及相关研究提供支持.方法 利用小鼠巨噬细胞系J774A.1对LF细胞毒性的高度敏感性,检测血液中LF的浓度,对实验条件进行优化,并利用Fischer 344大鼠模型验证该方法的可行性.结果 细胞毒性实验能够检测到血浆中的LF浓度可低至5 ng/ml,该方法操作简单,灵敏度高,并在大鼠模型中得到了验证,利用本法测定LF在大鼠血液中的半衰期为4.8~6.5 h.结论 初步建立了利用细胞毒性实验检测血液中LF的方法,该方法在灵敏性、经济性和实用性等方面具备一定优势,为炭疽相关研究及临床检测提供了新的选择.

  3. Effects of nicotine on bacterial toxins associated with cot death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayers, N M; Drucker, D B; Telford, D R; Morris, J A

    1995-01-01

    Toxins produced by staphylococci and enterobacteria isolated from the nasopharynx of cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have a lethal effect when injected into chick embryos. If the toxins are progressively diluted the lethal effect disappears, but certain combinations of toxins show synergy so that if sublethal doses are mixed a highly lethal effect is produced. In this paper it is shown that nicotine at very low concentrations (less than that produced in man by 0.05 cigarettes) potentiates the lethal action of certain SIDS associated bacterial toxins and markedly potentiates the lethal action of synergistic combinations of bacterial toxins. These results could explain, at least in part, why parental smoking increases the risk of SIDS. They also provide further support for the common bacterial toxin hypothesis of cot death. PMID:8546517

  4. Stool C difficile toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... toxin; Colitis - toxin; Pseudomembranous - toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin ... be analyzed. There are several ways to detect C difficile toxin in the stool sample. Enzyme immunoassay ( ...

  5. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 1: Discovery of potent lethal factor inhibitors with in vivo efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Moayeri, Mahtab; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2010-11-15

    Sub-nanomolar small molecule inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor have been identified using SAR and Merck L915 (4) as a model compound. One of these compounds (16) provided 100% protection in a rat lethal toxin model of anthrax disease.

  6. Bacterial toxins and the immune system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galán, Jorge E.

    2005-01-01

    Microorganisms that cause persistent infection often exhibit specific adaptations that allow them to avoid the adaptive immune response. Recently, several bacterial toxins have been shown in vitro to disrupt immune cell functions. However, it remains to be established whether these activities are relevant during infection and whether these toxins have specifically evolved to disrupt the adaptive immune system. PMID:15699067

  7. Staphylococcus aureus β-Toxin Mutants Are Defective in Biofilm Ligase and Sphingomyelinase Activity, and Causation of Infective Endocarditis and Sepsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Alfa; Vu, Bao G; Stach, Christopher S; Merriman, Joseph A; Horswill, Alexander R; Salgado-Pabón, Wilmara; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2016-05-01

    β-Toxin is an important virulence factor of Staphylococcus aureus, contributing to colonization and development of disease [Salgado-Pabon, W., et al. (2014) J. Infect. Dis. 210, 784-792; Huseby, M. J., et al. (2010) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 14407-14412; Katayama, Y., et al. (2013) J. Bacteriol. 195, 1194-1203]. This cytotoxin has two distinct mechanisms of action: sphingomyelinase activity and DNA biofilm ligase activity. However, the distinct mechanism that is most important for its role in infective endocarditis is unknown. We characterized the active site of β-toxin DNA biofilm ligase activity by examining deficiencies in site-directed mutants through in vitro DNA precipitation and biofilm formation assays. Possible conformational changes in mutant structure compared to that of wild-type toxin were assessed preliminarily by trypsin digestion analysis, retention of sphingomyelinase activity, and predicted structures based on the native toxin structure. We addressed the contribution of each mechanism of action to producing infective endocarditis and sepsis in vivo in a rabbit model. The H289N β-toxin mutant, lacking sphingomyelinase activity, exhibited lower sepsis lethality and infective endocarditis vegetation formation compared to those of the wild-type toxin. β-Toxin mutants with disrupted biofilm ligase activity did not exhibit decreased sepsis lethality but were deficient in infective endocarditis vegetation formation compared to the wild-type protein. Our study begins to characterize the DNA biofilm ligase active site of β-toxin and suggests β-toxin functions importantly in infective endocarditis through both of its mechanisms of action.

  8. Botulinum toxin: bioweapon & magic drug.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-11-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility . It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin.

  9. Botulinum Toxin; Bioterror and Biomedicinal Agent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiri Patocka

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin is a group of seven homologous, highly poisonous proteins isolated fromfermentation of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which naturally occurs in soiland can grow on many meats and vegetables. Botulinum toxin causes neuromuscular disordercalled botulism, which is a potentially lethal disease. There are three types of botulism: Food,wound, and infant botulism. It can lead to death unless appropriate therapy is done. Due to theseverity and potency of botulinum toxin, its importance as a biological weapon is of majorconcern to public health officials. Nevertheless, botulinum toxin is also medicament.

  10. The UPEC pore-forming toxin α-hemolysin triggers proteolysis of host proteins to disrupt cell adhesion, inflammatory, and survival pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhakal, Bijaya K; Mulvey, Matthew A

    2012-01-19

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), which are the leading cause of both acute and chronic urinary tract infections, often secrete a labile pore-forming toxin known as α-hemolysin (HlyA). We show that stable insertion of HlyA into epithelial cell and macrophage membranes triggers degradation of the cytoskeletal scaffolding protein paxillin and other host regulatory proteins, as well as components of the proinflammatory NFκB signaling cascade. Proteolysis of these factors requires host serine proteases, and paxillin degradation specifically involves the serine protease mesotrypsin. The induced activation of mesotrypsin by HlyA is preceded by redistribution of mesotrypsin precursors from the cytosol into foci along microtubules and within nuclei. HlyA intoxication also stimulated caspase activation, which occurred independently of effects on host serine proteases. HlyA-induced proteolysis of host proteins likely allows UPEC to not only modulate epithelial cell functions, but also disable macrophages and suppress inflammatory responses.

  11. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... If You Have Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A ... may produce toxins (harmful substances) if the bacterial balance in the colon is disrupted. This might happen ...

  12. Antibody microarrays for native toxin detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Victor C; Havenstrite, Karen L; Herr, Amy E

    2005-04-15

    We have developed antibody-based microarray techniques for the multiplexed detection of cholera toxin beta-subunit, diphtheria toxin, anthrax lethal factor and protective antigen, Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B, and tetanus toxin C fragment in spiked samples. Two detection schemes were investigated: (i) a direct assay in which fluorescently labeled toxins were captured directly by the antibody array and (ii) a competition assay that employed unlabeled toxins as reporters for the quantification of native toxin in solution. In the direct assay, fluorescence measured at each array element is correlated with labeled toxin concentration to yield baseline binding information (Langmuir isotherms and affinity constants). Extending from the direct assay, the competition assay yields information on the presence, identity, and concentration of toxins. A significant advantage of the competition assay over reported profiling assays is the minimal sample preparation required prior to analysis because the competition assay obviates the need to fluorescently label native proteins in the sample of interest. Sigmoidal calibration curves and detection limits were established for both assay formats. Although the sensitivity of the direct assay is superior to that of the competition assay, detection limits for unmodified toxins in the competition assay are comparable to values reported previously for sandwich-format immunoassays of antibodies arrayed on planar substrates. As a demonstration of the potential of the competition assay for unlabeled toxin detection, we conclude with a straightforward multiplexed assay for the differentiation and identification of both native S. aureus enterotoxin B and tetanus toxin C fragment in spiked dilute serum samples.

  13. Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, not α-toxin, mediated Bundaberg fatalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Elizabeth A; Merriman, Joseph A; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2015-12-01

    The 1928 Bundaberg disaster is one of the greatest vaccine tragedies in history. Of 21 children immunized with a diphtheria toxin-antitoxin preparation contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, 18 developed life-threatening disease and 12 died within 48  h. Historically, the deaths have been attributed to α-toxin, a secreted cytotoxin produced by most S. aureus strains, yet the ability of the Bundaberg contaminant microbe to produce the toxin has never been verified. For the first time, the ability of the original strain to produce α-toxin and other virulence factors is investigated. The study investigates the genetic and regulatory loci mediating α-toxin expression by PCR and assesses production of the cytotoxin in vitro using an erythrocyte haemolysis assay. This analysis is extended to other secreted virulence factors produced by the strain, and their sufficiency to cause lethality in New Zealand white rabbits is determined. Although the strain possesses a wild-type allele for α-toxin, it must have a defective regulatory system, which is responsible for the strain's minimal α-toxin production. The strain encodes and produces staphylococcal superantigens, including toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), which is sufficient to cause lethality in patients. The findings cast doubt on the belief that α-toxin is the major virulence factor responsible for the Bundaberg fatalities and point to the superantigen TSST-1 as the cause of the disaster.

  14. Engineering modified Bt toxins to counter insect resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soberón, Mario; Pardo-López, Liliana; López, Idalia; Gómez, Isabel; Tabashnik, Bruce E; Bravo, Alejandra

    2007-12-07

    The evolution of insect resistance threatens the effectiveness of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins that are widely used in sprays and transgenic crops. Resistance to Bt toxins in some insects is linked with mutations that disrupt a toxin-binding cadherin protein. We show that susceptibility to the Bt toxin Cry1Ab was reduced by cadherin gene silencing with RNA interference in Manduca sexta, confirming cadherin's role in Bt toxicity. Native Cry1A toxins required cadherin to form oligomers, but modified Cry1A toxins lacking one alpha-helix did not. The modified toxins killed cadherin-silenced M. sexta and Bt-resistant Pectinophora gossypiella that had cadherin deletion mutations. Our findings suggest that cadherin promotes Bt toxicity by facilitating toxin oligomerization and demonstrate that the modified Bt toxins may be useful against pests resistant to standard Bt toxins.

  15. Polyamine toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strømgaard, Kristian; Jensen, Lars S; Vogensen, Stine B

    2005-01-01

    Polyamine toxins, isolated from spiders and wasps, have been used as pharmacological tools for the study of ionotropic receptors, but their use have so far been hampered by their lack of selectivity. In this mini-review, we describe how careful synthetic modification of native polyamine toxins have...

  16. Pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekura, R.D.; Moss, J.; Vaughan, M.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 13 selections. Some of the titles are: Genetic and Functional Studies of Pertussis Toxin Substrates; Effect of Pertussis Toxin on the Hormonal Responsiveness of Different Tissues; Extracellular Adenylate Cyclase of Bordetella pertussis; and GTP-Regulatory Proteins are Introcellular Messagers: A Model for Hormone Action.

  17. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 2: structural modifications leading to improved in vivo efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seongjin; Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2011-04-01

    New anthrax lethal factor inhibitors (LFIs) were designed based upon previously identified potent inhibitors 1a and 2. Combining the new core structures with modifications to the C2-side chain yielded analogs with improved efficacy in the rat lethal toxin model.

  18. Continuous Production of Clostridium tetani Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacharias, Bengt; Björklund, Marianne

    1968-01-01

    The continuous production of Clostridium tetani toxin has been carried out in a 1-liter stirred culture vessel for as long as 65 days. Toxin production of approximately 120 flocculating units per ml was maintained with a dilution rate of 0.125 hr-1, a temperature of 34 C, a pH of 7.4, and the addition to the medium of 0.1 g of potassium chloride per liter. The average minimal lethal intraperitoneal dose of the toxin in mice was approximately 106 per ml. PMID:4865906

  19. Recent insights into Pasteurella multocida toxin and other G-protein-modulating bacterial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Brenda A; Ho, Mengfei

    2010-08-01

    Over the past few decades, our understanding of the bacterial protein toxins that modulate G proteins has advanced tremendously through extensive biochemical and structural analyses. This article provides an updated survey of the various toxins that target G proteins, ending with a focus on recent mechanistic insights in our understanding of the deamidating toxin family. The dermonecrotic toxin from Pasteurella multocida (PMT) was recently added to the list of toxins that disrupt G-protein signal transduction through selective deamidation of their targets. The C3 deamidase domain of PMT has no sequence similarity to the deamidase domains of the dermonecrotic toxins from Escherichia coli (cytotoxic necrotizing factor [CNF]1-3), Yersinia (CNFY) and Bordetella (dermonecrotic toxin). The structure of PMT-C3 belongs to a family of transglutaminase-like proteins, with active site Cys-His-Asp catalytic triads distinct from E. coli CNF1.

  20. Lethal Midline Granuloma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghosh S.N

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Midline granuloma is a term with several synonyms: Stewart’s granuloma, granuloma gangraenescens nasi, lethal granuloma, polymorphous reticulosis 2-4 The conditiin is characterized by localized inflammation, destruction and often mutilation of tissues of the upper respiratory tract and face and, unless treated, it ends fatally within 12 to 18 months of onset. The pathological changes are those of nonspecific chronic inflammation to necrotizing vasculitis and granulomatosis. A case of lethal midline granuloma is reported.

  1. [Production and characteristics of monoclonal antibodies to the diphtheria toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valiakina, T I; Lakhtina, O E; Komaleva, R L; Simonova, M A; Samokhvalova, L V; Shoshina, N S; Kalinina, N A; Rubina, A Iu; Filippova, M A; Vertiev, Iu V; Grishin, E V

    2009-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies to the diphtheria toxin were produced without cross reactivity with the thermolabile toxin (LT) from Escherichia coli; ricin; choleraic toxin; the SeA, SeB, SeE, SeI, and SeG toxins of staphylococcus; the lethal factor of the anthrax toxin; and the protective antigen of the anthrax toxin. A pair of antibodies for the quantitative determination of the diphtheria toxin in the sandwich variation of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was chosen. The determination limit of the toxin was 0.7 ng/ml in plate and 1.6 ng/ml in microchip ELISA. The presence of a secretion from the nasopharynx lavage did not decrease the sensitivity of the toxin determination by sandwich ELISA. The immunization of mice with the diphtheria toxin and with a conjugate of the diphtheria toxin with polystyrene microspheres demonstrated that the conjugate immunization resulted in the formation of hybridoma clones which produced antibodies only to the epitopes of the A fragment of the diphtheria toxin. The immunization with the native toxin caused the production of hybridoma clones which predominantly produced antibodies to the epitopes of the B fragment.

  2. Botulinum toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigam P

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C 1 , C 2 , D, E, F and G. All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice.

  3. MARTX toxins as effector delivery platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Hannah E; Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-12-01

    Bacteria frequently manipulate their host environment via delivery of microbial 'effector' proteins to the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. In the case of the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxins (MARTX) toxin, this phenomenon is accomplished by a single, >3500 amino acid polypeptide that carries information for secretion, translocation, autoprocessing and effector activity. MARTX toxins are secreted from bacteria by dedicated Type I secretion systems. The released MARTX toxins form pores in target eukaryotic cell membranes for the delivery of up to five cytopathic effectors, each of which disrupts a key cellular process. Targeted cellular processes include modulation or modification of small GTPases, manipulation of host cell signaling and disruption of cytoskeletal integrity. More recently, MARTX toxins have been shown to be capable of heterologous protein translocation. Found across multiple bacterial species and genera--frequently in pathogens lacking Type 3 or Type 4 secretion systems--MARTX toxins in multiple cases function as virulence factors. Innovative research at the intersection of toxin biology and bacterial genetics continues to elucidate the intricacies of the toxin as well as the cytotoxic mechanisms of its diverse effector collection.

  4. Metatropic dysplasia lethal variants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hall, Christine M. [Department of Radiology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, WCIN 3JH, London (United Kingdom); Elcioglu, Nursel H. [Department of Pediatric Genetics, Marmara University Hospital, Istanbul (Turkey)

    2004-01-01

    Background: The metatropic dysplasia group includes fibrochondrogenesis, Schneckenbecken dysplasia and metatropic dysplasia (various forms). The overlapping features of this group with other dysplasias may cause diagnostic confusion, particularly in perinatal lethal cases. Objective: To attempt to classify the radiological findings of the presented eight sporadic cases based on a broad review of the perinatally lethal metatropic group of conditions and to discuss some overlapping features in the light of current knowledge. Results: The first four cases are of recognised conditions, namely lethal metatropic dysplasia (Type 2) or hyperchondrogenesis, lethal hyperplastic metatropic dysplasia (Type 1) and fibrochondrogenesis. The remaining four cases cannot be categorised accurately and are different from each other but with some features of the metatropic group of dysplasias. Conclusions: The dysplasias within the metatropic dysplasia group are phenotypically distinct from many forms of chondrodysplasia but the pathogenesis still remains poorly understood from the morphological and molecular perspectives. Chondro-osseous morphology might be helpful in all lethal cases especially in our last four cases. (orig.)

  5. Chemistry and biological activity of AAL toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, C K; Gilchrist, D G; Dickman, M B; Jones, C

    1996-01-01

    AAL toxins and fumonisins comprise a family of highly reactive, chemically related mycotoxins that disrupt cellular homeostasis in both plant and animal tissues. Two critical issues to resolve are the detection of the entire family in food matricies and the mode of cellular disruption. Analysis of the entire set of chemical congeners in food matrices is difficult but has been achieved by a combination of different HPLC and mass spectrometry strategies. The mode of cellular disruption is unknown but likely involves changes associated with the inhibition of ceramide synthase in both plants and animals. Toxin treated cells exhibit morphological and biochemical changes characteristic of apoptosis. Further evaluation of the specific genetic and biochemical changes that occur during toxin-induced cell death may aid in understanding the mole of the action of these mycotoxins.

  6. Tremorgenic Toxin from Penicillium verruculosum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, R. J.; Kirksey, J. W.; Moore, J. H.; Blankenship, B. R.; Diener, U. L.; Davis, N. D.

    1972-01-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD50) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD50 values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name „verruculogen” is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  7. Tremorgenic toxin from Penicillium veruculosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Moore, J H; Blankenship, B R; Diener, U L; Davis, N D

    1972-08-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD(50) values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name "verruculogen" is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described.

  8. CD28: Direct and Critical Receptor for Superantigen Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziv Rotfogel

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Every adaptive immune response requires costimulation through the B7/CD28 axis, with CD28 on T-cells functioning as principal costimulatory receptor. Staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigen toxins hyperstimulate the T-cell-mediated immune response by orders of magnitude, inducing a lethal cytokine storm. We show that to elicit an inflammatory cytokine storm and lethality, superantigens must bind directly to CD28. Blocking access of the superantigen to its CD28 receptor with peptides mimicking the contact domains in either toxin or CD28 suffices to protect mice effectively from lethal shock. Our finding that CD28 is a direct receptor of superantigen toxins broadens the scope of microbial pathogen recognition mechanisms.

  9. Effects of Transgenic Expression of Botulinum Toxins in Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    Backhaus, Philipp

    2017-01-01

    Clostridial neurotoxins (botulinum toxins and tetanus toxin) disrupt neurotransmitter release by cleaving neuronal SNARE proteins. We generated transgenic flies allowing for conditional expression of different botulinum toxins and evaluated their potential as tools for the analysis of synaptic and neuronal network function in Drosophila melanogaster by applying biochemical assays and behavioral analysis. On the biochemical level, cleavage assays in cultured Drosophila S2 cells were performed ...

  10. A lethal neurotoxic protein from Indian king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De, Pallabi; Dasgupta, S C; Gomes, A

    2002-12-01

    A lethal neurotoxin protein (Toxin CM36) was isolated and purified from the Indian King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom by CM-Sephadex ion exchange chromatography and HPLC. The purified toxin had a SDS-molecular weight of 15 +/- 0.5 kD. The UV absorption spectra of Toxin CM36 showed a peak at 280 nm and an Emax at 343.8 nm, when excited at 280 nm fluorescence. Toxin CM36 had an LD50 of 3.5 microg/20 g (i.v.) in male albino mice. It exhibited neurotoxicity and produced irreversible blockade of isolated chick biventer cervicis and rat phrenic nerve diaphragm. The neurotoxicity was found to be Ca2+ dependent. Toxin CM36 had no significant effect on isolated guineapig heart and auricle. It also had no effect on blood pressure of cat and rat but produced respiratory apnoea in rat and guineapig. Toxin CM36 lacked phospholipase activity.

  11. Crash Lethality Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-02-05

    26,800 400 Ethyl Benzene 0.121 40,900 4,900 Ethyl Ether 0.094 33,800 3,200 Gasoline 0.055 43,700 2,400 Hexane 0.074 44,700 3,300 Heptane 0.101...the product of projectile diameter and target weight. The animal lethality data were entered into MATLAB© and the function cftool() was used to...generate a logistic function. The x-axis represents a ratio of kinetic energy to the product of projectile diameter and target weight as defined by

  12. Anthrax toxins cooperatively inhibit endocytic recycling by the Rab11/Sec15 exocyst

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guichard, Annabel; McGillivray, Shauna M.; Cruz-Moreno, Beatriz; van Sorge, Nina M.; Nizet, Victor; Bier, Ethan

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax in humans and other mammals(1,2). In lethal systemic anthrax, proliferating bacilli secrete large quantities of the toxins lethal factor (LF) and oedema factor (EF), leading to widespread vascular leakage and shock. Whereas host targets of LF

  13. Anthrax toxins cooperatively inhibit endocytic recycling by the Rab11/Sec15 exocyst

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guichard, Annabel; McGillivray, Shauna M.; Cruz-Moreno, Beatriz; van Sorge, Nina M.; Nizet, Victor; Bier, Ethan

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax in humans and other mammals(1,2). In lethal systemic anthrax, proliferating bacilli secrete large quantities of the toxins lethal factor (LF) and oedema factor (EF), leading to widespread vascular leakage and shock. Whereas host targets of LF (mit

  14. ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CONTAMINANTS AND ALLIGATOR EMBRYOS: A LESSON FROM WILDLIFE?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many xenobiotic compounds introduced into the environment by human activity adversely affect wildlife. A number of these contaminants have been hypothesized to induce non lethal, multigenerational effects by acting as endocrine disrupting agents. One case is that of the alligator...

  15. Synthetic lethality-based targets for discovery of new cancer therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidle, Ulrich H; Maisel, Daniela; Eick, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    Synthetic lethality is based on the incompatibility of cell survival with the loss of function of two or more genes, not with loss of function of a single gene. If targets of synthetic lethality are deregulated or mutated in cancer cells, the strategy of synthetic lethality can result in significant increase of therapeutic efficacy and a favourable therapeutic window. In this review, we discuss synthetic lethality based on deficient DNA repair mechanisms, activating mutations of RAS, loss of function mutations of the tumor suppressor genes p53, Rb and von Hippel-Lindau, and disruption of interactive protein kinase networks in the context of development of new anticancer agents.

  16. Loss of ceramide synthase 3 causes lethal skin barrier disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennemann, Richard; Rabionet, Mariona; Gorgas, Karin; Epstein, Sharon; Dalpke, Alexander; Rothermel, Ulrike; Bayerle, Aline; van der Hoeven, Franciscus; Imgrund, Silke; Kirsch, Joachim; Nickel, Walter; Willecke, Klaus; Riezman, Howard; Gröne, Hermann-Josef; Sandhoff, Roger

    2012-02-01

    The stratum corneum as the outermost epidermal layer protects against exsiccation and infection. Both the underlying cornified envelope (CE) and the intercellular lipid matrix contribute essentially to these two main protective barriers. Epidermis-unique ceramides with ultra-long-chain acyl moities (ULC-Cers) are key components of extracellular lipid lamellae (ELL) and are bound to CE proteins, thereby contributing to the cornified lipid envelope (CLE). Here, we identified human and mouse ceramide synthase 3 (CerS3), among CerS1-6, to be exclusively required for the ULC-Cer synthesis in vitro and of mouse CerS3 in vivo. Deficiency of CerS3 in mice results in complete loss of ULC-Cers (≥C26), lack of continuous ELL and a non-functional CLE. Consequently, newborn mutant mice die shortly after birth from transepidermal water loss. Mutant skin is prone to Candida albicans infection highlighting ULC-Cers to be pivotal for both barrier functions. Persistent periderm, hyperkeratosis and deficient cornification are hallmarks of mutant skin demonstrating loss of Cers to trigger a keratinocyte maturation arrest at an embryonic pre-barrier stage.

  17. Derivation of Human Lethal Doses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-19

    Hardman, JG; Limbird, LE; Goodman Gilman , A, (editors). (2001) Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. New York, NY: McGraw... Goodman and Gilman’s N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50 for rat or mouse NIOSH N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50...Basis of Therapeutics– Goodman and Gilman’s N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50 for rat or mouse NIOSH N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal

  18. Kinetics of appearance of intestinal lesions in mice mono-associated with a lethal or non-lethal strain of Clostridium difficile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castex, F; Jouvert, S; Bastide, M; Corthier, G

    1994-02-01

    The kinetics of the appearance of intestinal lesions induced by orogastric inoculation of gnotobiotic mice with a lethal strain of Clostridium difficile (VPI) that produced toxins A and B in vivo and in vitro was studied and compared with the lesions induced by non-lethal C. difficile strain 786 that produced toxins A and B in vitro but only toxin B in measurable amounts in vivo. Different portions of the intestine were removed 12, 20, 26 and 30 h after inoculation and studied by scanning electronmicroscopy. The remaining portions were homogenised for enumeration of C. difficile and quantification of toxin A by enzyme immunoassay and toxin B by cytotoxicity. The results showed that, following inoculation: (i) measurable amounts of both toxins were necessary to produce lesions; (ii) with strain VPI, the caecum and the colon were rapidly impaired and completely destroyed after 1 day, whereas the small intestine was damaged to a lesser extent; (iii) C. difficile strain 786 did not cause mucosal damage but induced mucus-like or serum-like secretion and morphological changes in the caecal enterocytes only.

  19. Bacterial glycosyltransferase toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins are Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to the Clostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Photorhabdus and Legionella species produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research.

  20. Targeting bacterial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivarsson, Mattias E; Leroux, Jean-Christophe; Castagner, Bastien

    2012-04-23

    Protein toxins constitute the main virulence factors of several species of bacteria and have proven to be attractive targets for drug development. Lead candidates that target bacterial toxins range from small molecules to polymeric binders, and act at each of the multiple steps in the process of toxin-mediated pathogenicity. Despite recent and significant advances in the field, a rationally designed drug that targets toxins has yet to reach the market. This Review presents the state of the art in bacterial toxin targeted drug development with a critical consideration of achieved breakthroughs and withstanding challenges. The discussion focuses on A-B-type protein toxins secreted by four species of bacteria, namely Clostridium difficile (toxins A and B), Vibrio cholerae (cholera toxin), enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (Shiga toxin), and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax toxin), which are the causative agents of diseases for which treatments need to be improved. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Nanoparticle-detained toxins for safe and effective vaccination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Che-Ming J.; Fang, Ronnie H.; Luk, Brian T.; Zhang, Liangfang

    2013-12-01

    Toxoid vaccines--vaccines based on inactivated bacterial toxins--are routinely used to promote antitoxin immunity for the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections. Following chemical or heat denaturation, inactivated toxins can be administered to mount toxin-specific immune responses. However, retaining faithful antigenic presentation while removing toxin virulence remains a major challenge and presents a trade-off between efficacy and safety in toxoid development. Here, we show a nanoparticle-based toxin-detainment strategy that safely delivers non-disrupted pore-forming toxins for immune processing. Using erythrocyte membrane-coated nanoparticles and staphylococcal α-haemolysin, we demonstrate effective virulence neutralization via spontaneous particle entrapment. Compared with vaccination with heat-denatured toxin, mice vaccinated with the nanoparticle-detained toxin showed superior protective immunity against toxin-mediated adverse effects. We find that the non-disruptive detoxification approach benefited the immunogenicity and efficacy of toxoid vaccines. We anticipate that this study will open new possibilities in the preparation of antitoxin vaccines against the many virulence factors that threaten public health.

  2. Centrifugal microfluidic platform for ultrasensitive detection of Botulinum Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxin – a global public health threat and category A bioterrorism agent - is the most toxic substance known and one of the most challenging toxins to detect due to its lethality at extremely low concentrations. Hence the live-mouse bioassay because of its superior sensitivity, remains...

  3. Single amino acid insertions in extracellular loop 2 of Bombyx mori ABCC2 disrupt its receptor function for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac but not Cry1Aa toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Shiho; Miyamoto, Kazuhisa; Noda, Hiroaki; Endo, Haruka; Kikuta, Shingo; Sato, Ryoichi

    2016-04-01

    In a previous report, seven Cry1Ab-resistant strains were identified in the silkworm, Bombyx mori; these strains were shown to have a tyrosine insertion at position 234 in extracellular loop 2 of the ABC transporter C2 (BmABCC2). This insertion was confirmed to destroy the receptor function of BmABCC2 and confer the strains resistance against Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac. However, these strains were susceptible to Cry1Aa. In this report, we examined the mechanisms of the loss of receptor function of the transporter by expressing mutations in Sf9 cells. After replacement of one or two of the five amino acid residues in loop 2 of the susceptible BmABCC2 gene [BmABCC2_S] with alanine, cells still showed susceptibility, retaining the receptor function. Five mutants with single amino acid insertions at position 234 in BmABCC2 were also generated, resulting in loop 2 having six amino acids, which corresponds to replacing the tyrosine insertion in the resistant BmABCC2 gene [BmABCC2_R(+(234)Y)] with another amino acid. All five mutants exhibited loss of function against Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac. These results suggest that the amino acid sequence in loop 2 is less important than the loop size (five vs. six amino acids) or loop structure for Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac activity. Several domain-swapped mutant toxins were then generated among Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, and Cry1Ac, which are composed of three domains. Swapped mutants containing domain II of Cry1Ab or Cry1Ac did not kill Sf9 cells expressing BmABCC2_R(+(234)Y), suggesting that domain II of the Cry toxin is related to the interaction with the receptor function of BmABCC2. This also suggests that different reactions against Bt-toxins in some B. mori strains, that is, Cry1Ab resistance or Cry1Aa susceptibility, are attributable to structural differences in domain II of Cry1A toxins.

  4. Recent Insights into Clostridium perfringens Beta-Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Nagahama

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens beta-toxin is a key mediator of necrotizing enterocolitis and enterotoxemia. It is a pore-forming toxin (PFT that exerts cytotoxic effect. Experimental investigation using piglet and rabbit intestinal loop models and a mouse infection model apparently showed that beta-toxin is the important pathogenic factor of the organisms. The toxin caused the swelling and disruption of HL-60 cells and formed a functional pore in the lipid raft microdomains of sensitive cells. These findings represent significant progress in the characterization of the toxin with knowledge on its biological features, mechanism of action and structure-function having been accumulated. Our aims here are to review the current progresses in our comprehension of the virulence of C. perfringens type C and the character, biological feature and structure-function of beta-toxin.

  5. Fold modulating function: Bacterial toxins to functional amyloids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adnan Khawaja Syed

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Many bacteria produce cytolytic toxins that target host cells or other competing microbes. It is well known that environmental factors control toxin expression, however recent work suggests that some bacteria manipulate the fold of these protein toxins to control their function. The β-sheet rich amyloid fold is a highly stable ordered aggregate that many toxins form in response to specific environmental conditions. When in the amyloid state, toxins become inert, losing the cytolytic activity they display in the soluble form. Emerging evidence suggest that some amyloids function as toxin storage systems until they are again needed, while other bacteria utilize amyloids as a structural matrix component of biofilms. This amyloid matrix component facilitates resistance to biofilm disruptive challenges. The bacterial amyloids discussed in this review reveal an elegant system where changes in protein fold and solubility dictate the function of proteins in response to the environment.

  6. Fold modulating function: bacterial toxins to functional amyloids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syed, Adnan K; Boles, Blaise R

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteria produce cytolytic toxins that target host cells or other competing microbes. It is well known that environmental factors control toxin expression, however, recent work suggests that some bacteria manipulate the fold of these protein toxins to control their function. The β-sheet rich amyloid fold is a highly stable ordered aggregate that many toxins form in response to specific environmental conditions. When in the amyloid state, toxins become inert, losing the cytolytic activity they display in the soluble form. Emerging evidence suggest that some amyloids function as toxin storage systems until they are again needed, while other bacteria utilize amyloids as a structural matrix component of biofilms. This amyloid matrix component facilitates resistance to biofilm disruptive challenges. The bacterial amyloids discussed in this review reveal an elegant system where changes in protein fold and solubility dictate the function of proteins in response to the environment.

  7. First chemical synthesis of a scorpion alpha-toxin affecting sodium channels: the Aah I toxin of Androctonus australis hector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    M'Barek, Sarrah; Fajloun, Ziad; Cestèle, Sandrine; Devaux, Christiane; Mansuelle, Pascal; Mosbah, Amor; Jouirou, Besma; Mantegazza, Massimo; Van Rietschoten, Jurphaas; El Ayeb, Mohamed; Rochat, Hervé; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Sampieri, François

    2004-11-01

    Aah I is a 63-residue alpha-toxin isolated from the venom of the Buthidae scorpion Androctonus australis hector, which is considered to be the most dangerous species. We report here the first chemical synthesis of Aah I by the solid-phase method, using a Fmoc strategy. The synthetic toxin I (sAah I) was renatured in DMSO-Tris buffer, purified and subjected to thorough analysis and comparison with the natural toxin. The sAah I showed physico-chemical (CD spectrum, molecular mass, HPLC elution), biochemical (amino-acid composition, sequence), immunochemical and pharmacological properties similar to those of the natural toxin. The synthetic toxin was recognized by a conformation-dependent monoclonal anti-Aah I antibody, with an IC50 value close to that for the natural toxin. Following intracerebroventricular injection, the synthetic and the natural toxins were similarly lethal to mice. In voltage-clamp experiments, Na(v) 1.2 sodium channel inactivation was inhibited by the application of sAah I or of the natural toxin in a similar way. This work describes a simple protocol for the chemical synthesis of a scorpion alpha-toxin, making it possible to produce structural analogues in time.

  8. Occurrence of a unique protein toxin from the Indian King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, A; De, P; Dasgupta, S C

    2001-01-01

    A unique (lethal-cardiotoxic-hemorrhagic) protein toxin (Toxin CM55) was isolated and purified from Indian King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom by CM-sephadex ion exchange chromatography and reverse phase HPLC. The purified toxin had an SDS-molecular weight of 22 +/- 0.5 kD. UV absorption spectra of Toxin CM55 showed a peak at 280 nm, whereas when excited at 280 nm fluorescence, Toxin CM55 showed an E(max) at 333.4 nm. Toxin CM55 had an LD(50) of 28.28 microg/20 g (i. v.) in albino mice. The cardiotoxic action of the toxin was established on isolated guinea pig/rabbit heart and guinea pig auricle. In rats, Toxin CM55 caused ECG abnormalities including widened QRS complex and monomorphic ventricular tachycardia suggesting that the possible site of action of Toxin CM55 was the ventricle. Toxin CM55 produced significant vasoconstriction on peripheral blood vessels. It produced significant contraction of isolated guinea pig ileum, rat fundus and rat uterus, which was completely antagonised by methysergide. The toxin was found to release a significant amount of serotonin from rabbit platelets. Toxin CM55 produced cutaneous hemorrhage in albino mice, which was also produced in reserpine and p-chloro phenylalanine pretreated animals. Rabbit antiserum was raised against Toxin CM55, which gave prominent bands in immunogel diffusion and immunoelectrophoresis. The antiserum provided 2 LD(50) protection against Toxin CM55-induced lethality in mice and also neutralised 3 MHD hemorrhagic dose of the toxin.

  9. The glucocorticoid receptor: a revisited target for toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marketon, Jeanette I Webster; Sternberg, Esther M

    2010-06-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation and glucocorticoid responses are critical for survival from a number of bacterial, viral and toxic insults, demonstrated by the fact that removal of the HPA axis or GR blockade enhances mortality rates. Replacement with synthetic glucocorticoids reverses these effects by providing protection against lethal effects. Glucocorticoid resistance/insensitivity is a common problem in the treatment of many diseases. Much research has focused on the molecular mechanism behind this resistance, but an area that has been neglected is the role of infectious agents and toxins. We have recently shown that the anthrax lethal toxin is able to repress glucocorticoid receptor function. Data suggesting that the glucocorticoid receptor may be a target for a variety of toxins is reviewed here. These studies have important implications for glucocorticoid therapy.

  10. Family Disruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... stay angry, or avoid fights altogether? Your children model themselves on you. Departures and Returns Do you or your spouse frequently travel on business? These can be disruptive times for your child and for the family ...

  11. Adsorption and Insecticidal Activity of Toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis on Rectorite

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Xue-Yong; HUANG Qiao-Yun; CAI Peng; YU Zi-Niu

    2007-01-01

    The adsorption and desorption of the toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis strain WG-001 on rectorite were studied at different toxin and/or rectorite concentrations, pH values and temperatures. The insecticidal activity of the adsorbed toxin was evaluated by determining the lethal concentration to kill 50% of the larvae of Heliothis armigera (Lcso). The adsorption of the toxin on rectorite in sodium carbonate buffer (pH 9) reached equilibrium within 0.5-1.0 h and the adsorption isotherm of the toxin followed the Langmuir equation (R2>0.99). In the pH range from 9 to 11 (carbonate buffer), the adsorbed toxin decreased with increasing pH. The adsorption amounts decreased with increasing rectoritettoxin ratio. The adsorption was not significantly affected by the temperature between 10 and 50 °C. The X-ray diffraction analysis indicated occurrence of the intercalation of the rectorite by the toxin. The infrared absorption spectrum showed that the binding of the toxin did not alter its structure. The Lcgo values of the adsorbed toxin were smaller than those of the free toxin. The rectorite protected the toxin from ultraviolet irradiation damage. The desorption of the adsorbed toxin in water ranged from 37.5% to 56.4% and from 27.4% to 41.8% in a carbonate buffer. The desorption percentage also decreased with increasing rectorite:toxin ratio.

  12. The role of protein interactions in mediating essentiality and synthetic lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talavera, David; Robertson, David L; Lovell, Simon C

    2013-01-01

    Genes are characterized as essential if their knockout is associated with a lethal phenotype, and these "essential genes" play a central role in biological function. In addition, some genes are only essential when deleted in pairs, a phenomenon known as synthetic lethality. Here we consider genes displaying synthetic lethality as "essential pairs" of genes, and analyze the properties of yeast essential genes and synthetic lethal pairs together. As gene duplication initially produces an identical pair or sets of genes, it is often invoked as an explanation for synthetic lethality. However, we find that duplication explains only a minority of cases of synthetic lethality. Similarly, disruption of metabolic pathways leads to relatively few examples of synthetic lethality. By contrast, the vast majority of synthetic lethal gene pairs code for proteins with related functions that share interaction partners. We also find that essential genes and synthetic lethal pairs cluster in the protein-protein interaction network. These results suggest that synthetic lethality is strongly dependent on the formation of protein-protein interactions. Compensation by duplicates does not usually occur mainly because the genes involved are recent duplicates, but is more commonly due to functional similarity that permits preservation of essential protein complexes. This unified view, combining genes that are individually essential with those that form essential pairs, suggests that essentiality is a feature of physical interactions between proteins protein-protein interactions, rather than being inherent in gene and protein products themselves.

  13. The role of protein interactions in mediating essentiality and synthetic lethality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Talavera

    Full Text Available Genes are characterized as essential if their knockout is associated with a lethal phenotype, and these "essential genes" play a central role in biological function. In addition, some genes are only essential when deleted in pairs, a phenomenon known as synthetic lethality. Here we consider genes displaying synthetic lethality as "essential pairs" of genes, and analyze the properties of yeast essential genes and synthetic lethal pairs together. As gene duplication initially produces an identical pair or sets of genes, it is often invoked as an explanation for synthetic lethality. However, we find that duplication explains only a minority of cases of synthetic lethality. Similarly, disruption of metabolic pathways leads to relatively few examples of synthetic lethality. By contrast, the vast majority of synthetic lethal gene pairs code for proteins with related functions that share interaction partners. We also find that essential genes and synthetic lethal pairs cluster in the protein-protein interaction network. These results suggest that synthetic lethality is strongly dependent on the formation of protein-protein interactions. Compensation by duplicates does not usually occur mainly because the genes involved are recent duplicates, but is more commonly due to functional similarity that permits preservation of essential protein complexes. This unified view, combining genes that are individually essential with those that form essential pairs, suggests that essentiality is a feature of physical interactions between proteins protein-protein interactions, rather than being inherent in gene and protein products themselves.

  14. Semicarbazone EGA Inhibits Uptake of Diphtheria Toxin into Human Cells and Protects Cells from Intoxication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonie Schnell

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Diphtheria toxin is a single-chain protein toxin that invades human cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis. In acidic endosomes, its translocation domain inserts into endosomal membranes and facilitates the transport of the catalytic domain (DTA from endosomal lumen into the host cell cytosol. Here, DTA ADP-ribosylates elongation factor 2 inhibits protein synthesis and leads to cell death. The compound 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenylsemicarbazone (EGA has been previously shown to protect cells from various bacterial protein toxins which deliver their enzymatic subunits from acidic endosomes to the cytosol, including Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin and the binary clostridial actin ADP-ribosylating toxins C2, iota and Clostridium difficile binary toxin (CDT. Here, we demonstrate that EGA also protects human cells from diphtheria toxin by inhibiting the pH-dependent translocation of DTA across cell membranes. The results suggest that EGA might serve for treatment and/or prevention of the severe disease diphtheria.

  15. Structure determination of a tetrahydro-beta-carboline of arthropod origin: a novel alkaloid-toxin subclass from the web of spider Nephila clavipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Maurício Ribeiro; Mendes, Maria Anita; Tormena, Cláudio Francisco; Souza, Bibiana M; Cesar, Lílian Mari Marcondes; Rittner, Roberto; Palma, Mario S

    2005-04-01

    The orb-web spiders are polyphagous animals in which the web plays a very important role in the capture of preys; oily droplets usually cover the capture-web of the spider Nephila clavipes and seem to be of great importance for prey capture. The knowledge of the chemical composition of these droplets is necessary to understand the function of this adhesive material in web mechanics and prey capture. A novel subclass of spider toxins, tetrahydro-beta-carboline, was identified among the weaponry of compounds present inside of oily droplets. This type of alkaloid is not common among the natural compounds of spider toxins. Apparently, when the prey arthropods get caught by the spider web, their bodies are covered with many adhesive oily droplets, which disrupt delivering the tetrahydro-beta-carboline to the direct contact with the prey integument. Toxicity assays demonstrated a potent lethal effect of the alkaloid toxin to the spider preys; topical applications of the tetrahydro-beta-carboline at first caused clear signs of neurotoxicity, followed by the death of preys. The structure of the major component, a tetrahydro-beta-carboline, among the alkaloid toxins was elucidated by means of UV spectrophotometry, ESI mass spectrometry, 1H-NMR spectroscopy, and high-resolution mass spectrometry. The structure of the natural toxin was determined as 1-(2-guanidinoethyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-hydroxymethyl)-beta-carboline; the investigation of the pharmacological properties and neurotoxic actions of this compound may be used in the future as reference for the development of new drugs to be applied at level of pest control in agriculture.

  16. [Immunoenzimatic detection of the Clostridium tetani bacterial toxin: an alternative to mice bioassays].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Fernando; León, Guillermo; Hernández-Chavarría, Francisco

    2006-06-01

    Cell-free extracts from 20 strains of Clostridium tetani isolated from soil samples, were tested for tetanus toxin production using an enzyme immunoassay. All the extracts were classified as positive for the toxin presence, and eight of them showed absorbance values corresponding to tetanus toxin concentrations between 3.2 and 88 ng/ml; thus, they fell within the linear absorbance range (0.135-0.317). All dilutions of toxin used to obtain the calibration curve (0.0071 to 1.1 ng) were lethal for mice.

  17. Disrupting Business

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cox, Geoff; Bazzichelli, Tatiana

    Disruptive Business explores some of the interconnections between art, activism and the business concept of disruptive innovation. With a backdrop of the crisis of financial capitalism, austerity cuts in the cultural sphere, the idea is to focus on potential art strategies in relation to a broken...... economy. In a perverse way, we ask whether this presents new opportunities for cultural producers to achieve more autonomy over their production process. If it is indeed possible, or desirable, what alternative business models emerge? The book is concerned broadly with business as material for reinvention...

  18. Disrupting Business

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cox, Geoff; Bazzichelli, Tatiana

    Disruptive Business explores some of the interconnections between art, activism and the business concept of disruptive innovation. With a backdrop of the crisis of financial capitalism, austerity cuts in the cultural sphere, the idea is to focus on potential art strategies in relation to a broken...... economy. In a perverse way, we ask whether this presents new opportunities for cultural producers to achieve more autonomy over their production process. If it is indeed possible, or desirable, what alternative business models emerge? The book is concerned broadly with business as material for reinvention...

  19. Politisk disruption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper

    2017-01-01

    Dette blogindlæg giver en kort analyse af hvordan de sociale medier ved at give en ny tid har åbnet for den disruption af de politiske processer som især Trump stå som et eksempel på.......Dette blogindlæg giver en kort analyse af hvordan de sociale medier ved at give en ny tid har åbnet for den disruption af de politiske processer som især Trump stå som et eksempel på....

  20. New insights into the biological effects of anthrax toxins: linking cellular to organismal responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guichard, Annabel; Nizet, Victor; Bier, Ethan

    2013-01-01

    The anthrax toxins lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), are essential virulence factors produced by B. anthracis. These toxins act during two distinct phases of anthrax infection. During the first, prodromal phase, which is often asymptomatic, anthrax toxins act on cells of the immune system to help the pathogen establish infection. Then, during the rapidly progressing (or fulminant) stage of the disease bacteria disseminate via a hematological route to various target tissues and organs, which are typically highly vascularized. As bacteria proliferate in the bloodstream LT and ET begin to accumulate rapidly reaching a critical threshold level that will cause death even when the bacterial proliferation is curtailed by antibiotics. During this final phase of infection the toxins cause an increase in vascular permeability and a decrease in function of target organs including the heart, spleen, kidney, adrenal gland, and brain. In this review, we examine the various biological effects of anthrax toxins, focusing on the fulminant stage of the disease and on mechanisms by which the two toxins may collaborate to cause cardiovascular collapse. We discuss normal mechanisms involved in maintaining vascular integrity and based on recent studies indicating that LT and ET cooperatively inhibit membrane trafficking to cell-cell junctions we explore several potential mechanisms by which the toxins may achieve their lethal effects. We also summarize the effects of other potential virulence factors secreted by B. anthracis and consider the role of toxic factors in the evolutionarily recent emergence of this devastating disease. PMID:21930233

  1. Toxins and antimicrobial peptides: interactions with membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlamadinger, Diana E.; Gable, Jonathan E.; Kim, Judy E.

    2009-08-01

    The innate immunity to pathogenic invasion of organisms in the plant and animal kingdoms relies upon cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as the first line of defense. In addition to these natural peptide antibiotics, similar cationic peptides, such as the bee venom toxin melittin, act as nonspecific toxins. Molecular details of AMP and peptide toxin action are not known, but the universal function of these peptides to disrupt cell membranes of pathogenic bacteria (AMPs) or a diverse set of eukaryotes and prokaryotes (melittin) is widely accepted. Here, we have utilized spectroscopic techniques to elucidate peptide-membrane interactions of alpha-helical human and mouse AMPs of the cathelicidin family as well as the peptide toxin melittin. The activity of these natural peptides and their engineered analogs was studied on eukaryotic and prokaryotic membrane mimics consisting of <200-nm bilayer vesicles composed of anionic and neutral lipids as well as cholesterol. Vesicle disruption, or peptide potency, was monitored with a sensitive fluorescence leakage assay. Detailed molecular information on peptidemembrane interactions and peptide structure was further gained through vibrational spectroscopy combined with circular dichroism. Finally, steady-state fluorescence experiments yielded insight into the local environment of native or engineered tryptophan residues in melittin and human cathelicidin embedded in bilayer vesicles. Collectively, our results provide clues to the functional structures of the engineered and toxic peptides and may impact the design of synthetic antibiotic peptides that can be used against the growing number of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

  2. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  3. Bacterial toxins as immunomodulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, David S; Williams, Neil A

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are the causative agent at pathology in a variety of diseases. Although not always the primary target of these toxins, many have been shown to have potent immunomodulatory effects, for example, inducing immune responses to co-administered antigens and suppressing activation of immune cells. These abilities of bacterial toxins can be harnessed and used in a therapeutic manner, such as in vaccination or the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, the ability of toxins to gain entry to cells can be used in novel bacterial toxin based immuno-therapies in order to deliver antigens into MHC Class I processing pathways. Whether the immunomodulatory properties of these toxins arose in order to enhance bacterial survival within hosts, to aid spread within the population or is pure serendipity, it is interesting to think that these same toxins potentially hold the key to preventing or treating human disease.

  4. Gene-trap mutagenesis identifies mammalian genes contributing to intoxication by Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan E Ivie

    Full Text Available The Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin is an extremely potent toxin associated with lethal toxemias in domesticated ruminants and may be toxic to humans. Intoxication results in fluid accumulation in various tissues, most notably in the brain and kidneys. Previous studies suggest that the toxin is a pore-forming toxin, leading to dysregulated ion homeostasis and ultimately cell death. However, mammalian host factors that likely contribute to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity are poorly understood. A library of insertional mutant Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK cells, which are highly susceptible to the lethal affects of ε-toxin, was used to select clones of cells resistant to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. The genes mutated in 9 surviving resistant cell clones were identified. We focused additional experiments on one of the identified genes as a means of validating the experimental approach. Gene expression microarray analysis revealed that one of the identified genes, hepatitis A virus cellular receptor 1 (HAVCR1, KIM-1, TIM1, is more abundantly expressed in human kidney cell lines than it is expressed in human cells known to be resistant to ε-toxin. One human kidney cell line, ACHN, was found to be sensitive to the toxin and expresses a larger isoform of the HAVCR1 protein than the HAVCR1 protein expressed by other, toxin-resistant human kidney cell lines. RNA interference studies in MDCK and in ACHN cells confirmed that HAVCR1 contributes to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. Additionally, ε-toxin was shown to bind to HAVCR1 in vitro. The results of this study indicate that HAVCR1 and the other genes identified through the use of gene-trap mutagenesis and RNA interference strategies represent important targets for investigation of the process by which ε-toxin induces cell death and new targets for potential therapeutic intervention.

  5. Bacterial toxins: friends or foes?

    OpenAIRE

    Schmitt, C K; Meysick, K. C.; O'Brien, A D

    1999-01-01

    Many emerging and reemerging bacterial pathogens synthesize toxins that serve as primary virulence factors. We highlight seven bacterial toxins produced by well-established or newly emergent pathogenic microbes. These toxins, which affect eukaryotic cells by a variety of means, include Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin, Shiga toxin, cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1, Escherichia coli heat-stable toxin, botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, and S. aureus toxic-shock syndrome toxin. For each, we...

  6. Okadaic acid: more than a diarrheic toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdiglesias, Vanessa; Prego-Faraldo, María Verónica; Pásaro, Eduardo; Méndez, Josefina; Laffon, Blanca

    2013-10-31

    Okadaic acid (OA) is one of the most frequent and worldwide distributed marine toxins. It is easily accumulated by shellfish, mainly bivalve mollusks and fish, and, subsequently, can be consumed by humans causing alimentary intoxications. OA is the main representative diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxin and its ingestion induces gastrointestinal symptoms, although it is not considered lethal. At the molecular level, OA is a specific inhibitor of several types of serine/threonine protein phosphatases and a tumor promoter in animal carcinogenesis experiments. In the last few decades, the potential toxic effects of OA, beyond its role as a DSP toxin, have been investigated in a number of studies. Alterations in DNA and cellular components, as well as effects on immune and nervous system, and even on embryonic development, have been increasingly reported. In this manuscript, results from all these studies are compiled and reviewed to clarify the role of this toxin not only as a DSP inductor but also as cause of alterations at the cellular and molecular levels, and to highlight the relevance of biomonitoring its effects on human health. Despite further investigations are required to elucidate OA mechanisms of action, toxicokinetics, and harmful effects, there are enough evidences illustrating its toxicity, not related to DSP induction, and, consequently, supporting a revision of the current regulation on OA levels in food.

  7. Okadaic Acid: More than a Diarrheic Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josefina Méndez

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Okadaic acid (OA is one of the most frequent and worldwide distributed marine toxins. It is easily accumulated by shellfish, mainly bivalve mollusks and fish, and, subsequently, can be consumed by humans causing alimentary intoxications. OA is the main representative diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP toxin and its ingestion induces gastrointestinal symptoms, although it is not considered lethal. At the molecular level, OA is a specific inhibitor of several types of serine/threonine protein phosphatases and a tumor promoter in animal carcinogenesis experiments. In the last few decades, the potential toxic effects of OA, beyond its role as a DSP toxin, have been investigated in a number of studies. Alterations in DNA and cellular components, as well as effects on immune and nervous system, and even on embryonic development, have been increasingly reported. In this manuscript, results from all these studies are compiled and reviewed to clarify the role of this toxin not only as a DSP inductor but also as cause of alterations at the cellular and molecular levels, and to highlight the relevance of biomonitoring its effects on human health. Despite further investigations are required to elucidate OA mechanisms of action, toxicokinetics, and harmful effects, there are enough evidences illustrating its toxicity, not related to DSP induction, and, consequently, supporting a revision of the current regulation on OA levels in food.

  8. Clostridium Perfringens Toxins Involved in Mammalian Veterinary Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzal, F. A.; Vidal, J. E.; McClane, B. A.; Gurjar, A. A.

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is a gram-positive anaerobic rod that is classified into 5 toxinotypes (A, B, C, D, and E) according to the production of 4 major toxins, namely alpha (CPA), beta (CPB), epsilon (ETX) and iota (ITX). However, this microorganism can produce up to 16 toxins in various combinations, including lethal toxins such as perfringolysin O (PFO), enterotoxin (CPE), and beta2 toxin (CPB2). Most diseases caused by this microorganism are mediated by one or more of these toxins. The role of CPA in intestinal disease of mammals is controversial and poorly documented, but there is no doubt that this toxin is essential in the production of gas gangrene of humans and several animal species. CPB produced by C. perfringens types B and C is responsible for necrotizing enteritis and enterotoxemia mainly in neonatal individuals of several animal species. ETX produced by C. perfringens type D is responsible for clinical signs and lesions of enterotoxemia, a predominantly neurological disease of sheep and goats. The role of ITX in disease of animals is poorly understood, although it is usually assumed that the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases produced by C. perfringens type E is mediated by this toxin. CPB2, a necrotizing and lethal toxin that can be produced by all types of C. perfringens, has been blamed for disease in many animal species, but little information is currently available to sustain or rule out this claim. CPE is an important virulence factor for C. perfringens type A gastrointestinal disease in humans and dogs; however, the data implicating CPE in other animal diseases remains ambiguous. PFO does not seem to play a direct role as the main virulence factor for animal diseases, but it may have a synergistic role with CPA-mediated gangrene and ETX-mediated enterotoxemia. The recent improvement of animal models for C. perfringens infection and the use of toxin gene knock-out mutants have demonstrated the specific pathogenic role of several toxins of C

  9. Disruptive innovations

    OpenAIRE

    Viglia, Giampaolo; Werthner, H.; Buhalis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    The diffusion of disrupting innovations has generated significant market changes, modifying the dominant logic and affecting the strategic positioning of companies. This structural change is affecting market structure, the networks and the services that tourism players are supposed to use (Gretzel et al. 2015). One can also refer to the notion of digital infrastructure, which provides a nice framework that connects the different stakeholders, their relations as well as internal dynamics. At t...

  10. Disruptive innovations

    OpenAIRE

    Viglia, Giampaolo; H. Werthner; Buhalis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    The diffusion of disrupting innovations has generated significant market changes, modifying the dominant logic and affecting the strategic positioning of companies. This structural change is affecting market structure, the networks and the services that tourism players are supposed to use (Gretzel et al. 2015). One can also refer to the notion of digital infrastructure, which provides a nice framework that connects the different stakeholders, their relations as well as internal dynamics. At t...

  11. Identification and characterization of Clostridium sordellii toxin gene regulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirigi Reddy, Apoorva Reddy; Girinathan, Brintha Parasumanna; Zapotocny, Ryan; Govind, Revathi

    2013-09-01

    Toxigenic Clostridium sordellii causes uncommon but highly lethal infections in humans and animals. Recently, an increased incidence of C. sordellii infections has been reported in women undergoing obstetric interventions. Pathogenic strains of C. sordellii produce numerous virulence factors, including sordellilysin, phospholipase, neuraminidase, and two large clostridial glucosylating toxins, TcsL and TcsH. Recent studies have demonstrated that TcsL toxin is an essential virulence factor for the pathogenicity of C. sordellii. In this study, we identified and characterized TcsR as the toxin gene (tcsL) regulator in C. sordellii. High-throughput sequencing of two C. sordellii strains revealed that tcsR lies within a genomic region that encodes TcsL, TcsH, and TcsE, a putative holin. By using ClosTron technology, we inactivated the tcsR gene in strain ATCC 9714. Toxin production and tcsL transcription were decreased in the tcsR mutant strain. However, the complemented tcsR mutant produced large amounts of toxins, similar to the parental strain. Expression of the Clostridium difficile toxin gene regulator tcdR also restored toxin production to the C. sordellii tcsR mutant, showing that these sigma factors are functionally interchangeable.

  12. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J. [Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L. [Ouro Preto Univ., MG (Brazil). Escola de Farmacia. Lab. de Fisiologia e Bioquimica de Microorganismos; Lima, M.E. de [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Bioquimica e Imunologia; Nicoli, J.R. [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Microbiologia

    1999-11-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na {sup 125} I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The {sup 125} I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author) 5 refs., 3 figs.; e-mail: nevesmj at urano.cdtn.br

  13. Designing Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Present-day rational drug design approaches are based on exploiting unique features of the target biomolecules, small- or macromolecule drug candidates, and physical forces that govern their interactions. The 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems” once again demonstrated the importance of the tailored drug discovery that reduces the role of the trial and error approach to a minimum. The “rational drug design” term is rather comprehensive as it includes all contemporary methods of drug discovery where serendipity and screening are substituted by the information-guided search for new and existing compounds. Successful implementation of these innovative drug discovery approaches is inevitably preceded by learning the physics, chemistry, and physiology of functioning of biological structures under normal and pathological conditions. Areas covered This article provides an overview of the recent rational drug design approaches to discover inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Some of the examples include small-molecule and peptide-based post-exposure therapeutic agents as well as several polyvalent compounds. The review also directs the reader to the vast literature on the recognized advances and future possibilities in the field. Expert opinion Existing options to combat anthrax toxin lethality are limited. With the only anthrax toxin inhibiting therapy (PA-targeting with a monoclonal antibody, raxibacumab) approved to treat inhalational anthrax, in our view, the situation is still insecure. The FDA’s animal rule for drug approval, which clears compounds without validated efficacy studies on humans, creates a high level of uncertainty, especially when a well-characterized animal model does not exist. Besides, unlike PA, which is known to be unstable, LF remains active in cells and in animal tissues for days. Therefore, the effectiveness of the post-exposure treatment of the individuals

  14. Cluster analysis of toxins profile pattern as a tool for tracing shellfish contaminated with PSP-toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Chun-Kwan; Hung, Patricia; Ng, Henry C C; Lee, Siu-Yuen; Kam, Kai-Man

    2011-11-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is one of the most lethal biotoxin-induced diseases worldwide, which may pose serious public health threat and potential devastating economic damage on fisheries industry in the affected region(s). To prevent the importation of PSP contaminated shellfish to a community, detailed documentation on the supply chain and routine surveillance systems are, in principle, crucial measures to protect people from this intoxication. However, difficulties have always been encountered on the traceability of the source/origin of contaminated shellfish. In the present study, we reported the potential application of PSP-toxins profiles with similarity analysis that can be used to identify epidemiological linkage between shellfish samples collected from markets and patients during a PSP outbreak. PSP-toxins were identified and quantified by ion-pair chromatographic separation followed by post-column oxidation to fluorescent imino purine derivatives. Samples from a PSP incident and other surveillance samples collected in our past 7-year record were also compared for their similarity in PSP-toxins profiles patterns. Molar distributions (nmol%) of 10 PSP-toxins were analyzed by Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetric averages (UPGMA). Three prominent clusters emerged with similarity levels reaching over 80% for each, suggesting that each group of samples probably originated from a same source/batch. The PSP-toxins profiles and toxicities determined from surveillance samples could provide premonitory clues on the occurrences of PSP incident and outbreak with corresponding toxin profiles in the later time. Due to species-specific characteristics of PSP-toxins composition and profile in shellfish under varieties of environmental and physiological conditions, PSP-toxins profile can be a specific and useful biochemical indicator for tracing PSP contaminated shellfish provided that spatio-temporal occurrence patterns of toxins profiles are available

  15. Toxins from Bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Henkel, James S.; Baldwin, Michael R.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial toxins damage the host at the site of bacterial infection or distanced from the site of infections. Bacterial toxins can be single proteins or organized as oligomeric protein complexes and are organized with distinct AB structure-function properties. The A domain encodes a catalytic activity; ADP-ribosylation of host proteins is the earliest post-translational modification determine to be performed by bacterial toxin, and now include glucosylation and proteolysis among other s. Bact...

  16. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon.

  17. Disrupted Disclosure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krause Hansen, Hans; Uldam, Julie

    While projects of governance by transparency have become widespread over the past decades, theyare usually investigated and theorized in isolation from the wider field of visibility and surveillancein which they are embedded. Building on theories of governance, visibility and surveillance...... appearances become challenged through disruptive disclosures in mediaenvironments characterized by multiple levels of visibility, with companies both observing andbeing observed by civil society groups that criticize them; (c) why and how the mobilization aroundtransparency and ensuing practices...... of surveillance produce new forms of governing, potentiallywidening the space of manoeuvring for corporations....

  18. Chorea caused by toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyasaki, Janis M

    2011-01-01

    Chorea is uncommonly caused by toxins. Anecdotal evidence from cases of toxin-induced chorea assists in our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases associated with chorea. Beginning in medieval Europe with ergotism and the "fire that twisted people," spanning to crack dancing in contemporary times and the coexistence of alcohol abuse with chorea, toxins may exert direct effects to enhance mesolimbic dopamine transmission or indirect effects through gamma-aminobutyric acid modulation. The following chapter will discuss toxins associated with chorea and the presumed pathophysiology underlying the movement disorders in these case series.

  19. [The "lethal white foal" syndrome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blendinger, C; Müller, G; Bostedt, H

    1994-06-01

    The lethal white foal syndrome (congenital intestinal aganglionosis) was diagnosed by history, clinical signs and pathological findings in a female foal, born in March 1992, that was an offspring of two overo-spotted paint horses. The syndrome is a congenital innervation defect of the gastrointestinal tract. A literature review of this condition, relatively unknown in Germany, is given.

  20. Rhodanine derivatives as selective protease inhibitors against bacterial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Sherida L; Chen, Li-Hsing; Harbach, Rebecca; Sabet, Mojgan; Savinov, Alexei; Cotton, Naomi J H; Strongin, Alex; Guiney, Donald; Pellecchia, Maurizio

    2008-02-01

    In this study, we analyzed a series of rhodanine derivatives, as potential inhibitors of bacterial toxins, namely the proteases anthrax lethal factor and the botulinum neurotoxin type A. Conducting an extensive structure-activity relationship study on rhodanine derivatives, we profiled their selectivity against the two bacterial toxins and two related human metalloproteases using in vitro assays. In addition, we examined initial in vitro ADME-Tox properties of selected compounds and their ability to protect lethal factor-induced cell death of macrophages. These data allowed the selection of one additional drug candidate for which preliminary in vivo efficacy studies against anthrax spores were conducted. Integration of these results with our structure-activity relationship studies provides a framework for the development of potential drug candidates against anthrax and botulinum.

  1. Sustainable Disruptions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis, Silje Alberthe Kamille; Kjær, Lykke Bloch

    2016-01-01

    Since 2012 the Sustainable Disruptions (SD) project at the Laboratory for Sustainability at Design School Kolding (DK) has developed and tested a set of design thinking tools, specifically targeting the barriers to economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable business development...... invested in the issue of sustainable business development, in particular the leaders and employees of SMEs, but also to design education seeking new ways to consciously handle and teach the complexity inherent in sustainable transformation. Findings indicate that the SD design thinking approach contributes....... The tools have been applied in practice in collaboration with 11 small and medium sized companies (SMEs). The study investigates these approaches to further understand how design thinking can contribute to sustainable transition in a business context. The study and the findings are relevant to organizations...

  2. Protection against Shiga Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Kavaliauskiene

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Shiga toxins consist of an A-moiety and five B-moieties able to bind the neutral glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3 on the cell surface. To intoxicate cells efficiently, the toxin A-moiety has to be cleaved by furin and transported retrogradely to the Golgi apparatus and to the endoplasmic reticulum. The enzymatically active part of the A-moiety is then translocated to the cytosol, where it inhibits protein synthesis and in some cell types induces apoptosis. Protection of cells can be provided either by inhibiting binding of the toxin to cells or by interfering with any of the subsequent steps required for its toxic effect. In this article we provide a brief overview of the interaction of Shiga toxins with cells, describe some compounds and conditions found to protect cells against Shiga toxins, and discuss whether they might also provide protection in animals and humans.

  3. Purification, amino-acid sequence and partial characterization of two toxins with anti-insect activity from the venom of the South American scorpion Tityus bahiensis (Buthidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimenta, A M; Martin-Eauclaire, M; Rochat, H; Figueiredo, S G; Kalapothakis, E; Afonso, L C; De Lima, M E

    2001-07-01

    We report here the isolation by a two-step chromatographic procedure of two new toxins from the South American scorpion Tityus bahiensis. Their amino-acid sequences and some of their biological features were established. The two toxins have different biological properties. Toxin TbIT-I had almost no activity or pharmacological effects in vertebrate tissues whereas it was lethal to house flies (LD50 80.0 ng/house fly). In contrast, Tb2-II was active against both mammals (intracerebroventricular injection of 100 ng/mouse was lethal) and insects (LD50 40.0 ng/house fly). The amino-acid sequences of these toxins were established and found to be similar (60-95%) to previously described beta-toxins from the Tityus genus. Based on the available comparative information, this study attempts identify possible structure-function relationships that may be responsible for the differences in bioactivity displayed by these toxins.

  4. Continuous evolution of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins overcomes insect resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badran, Ahmed H; Guzov, Victor M; Huai, Qing; Kemp, Melissa M; Vishwanath, Prashanth; Kain, Wendy; Nance, Autumn M; Evdokimov, Artem; Moshiri, Farhad; Turner, Keith H; Wang, Ping; Malvar, Thomas; Liu, David R

    2016-05-05

    The Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxins (Bt toxins) are widely used insecticidal proteins in engineered crops that provide agricultural, economic, and environmental benefits. The development of insect resistance to Bt toxins endangers their long-term effectiveness. Here we have developed a phage-assisted continuous evolution selection that rapidly evolves high-affinity protein-protein interactions, and applied this system to evolve variants of the Bt toxin Cry1Ac that bind a cadherin-like receptor from the insect pest Trichoplusia ni (TnCAD) that is not natively bound by wild-type Cry1Ac. The resulting evolved Cry1Ac variants bind TnCAD with high affinity (dissociation constant Kd = 11-41 nM), kill TnCAD-expressing insect cells that are not susceptible to wild-type Cry1Ac, and kill Cry1Ac-resistant T. ni insects up to 335-fold more potently than wild-type Cry1Ac. Our findings establish that the evolution of Bt toxins with novel insect cell receptor affinity can overcome insect Bt toxin resistance and confer lethality approaching that of the wild-type Bt toxin against non-resistant insects.

  5. Bithionol blocks pathogenicity of bacterial toxins, ricin, and Zika virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, William; Zilbermintz, Leeor; Cheng, Luisa W; Zozaya, Josue; Tran, Sharon H; Elliott, Jeffrey H; Polukhina, Kseniya; Manasherob, Robert; Li, Amy; Chi, Xiaoli; Gharaibeh, Dima; Kenny, Tara; Zamani, Rouzbeh; Soloveva, Veronica; Haddow, Andrew D; Nasar, Farooq; Bavari, Sina; Bassik, Michael C; Cohen, Stanley N; Levitin, Anastasia; Martchenko, Mikhail

    2016-09-30

    Diverse pathogenic agents often utilize overlapping host networks, and hub proteins within these networks represent attractive targets for broad-spectrum drugs. Using bacterial toxins, we describe a new approach for discovering broad-spectrum therapies capable of inhibiting host proteins that mediate multiple pathogenic pathways. This approach can be widely used, as it combines genetic-based target identification with cell survival-based and protein function-based multiplex drug screens, and concurrently discovers therapeutic compounds and their protein targets. Using B-lymphoblastoid cells derived from the HapMap Project cohort of persons of African, European, and Asian ancestry we identified host caspases as hub proteins that mediate the lethality of multiple pathogenic agents. We discovered that an approved drug, Bithionol, inhibits host caspases and also reduces the detrimental effects of anthrax lethal toxin, diphtheria toxin, cholera toxin, Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A, Botulinum neurotoxin, ricin, and Zika virus. Our study reveals the practicality of identifying host proteins that mediate multiple disease pathways and discovering broad-spectrum therapies that target these hub proteins.

  6. Bithionol blocks pathogenicity of bacterial toxins, ricin, and Zika virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, William; Zilbermintz, Leeor; Cheng, Luisa W.; Zozaya, Josue; Tran, Sharon H.; Elliott, Jeffrey H.; Polukhina, Kseniya; Manasherob, Robert; Li, Amy; Chi, Xiaoli; Gharaibeh, Dima; Kenny, Tara; Zamani, Rouzbeh; Soloveva, Veronica; Haddow, Andrew D.; Nasar, Farooq; Bavari, Sina; Bassik, Michael C.; Cohen, Stanley N.; Levitin, Anastasia; Martchenko, Mikhail

    2016-01-01

    Diverse pathogenic agents often utilize overlapping host networks, and hub proteins within these networks represent attractive targets for broad-spectrum drugs. Using bacterial toxins, we describe a new approach for discovering broad-spectrum therapies capable of inhibiting host proteins that mediate multiple pathogenic pathways. This approach can be widely used, as it combines genetic-based target identification with cell survival-based and protein function-based multiplex drug screens, and concurrently discovers therapeutic compounds and their protein targets. Using B-lymphoblastoid cells derived from the HapMap Project cohort of persons of African, European, and Asian ancestry we identified host caspases as hub proteins that mediate the lethality of multiple pathogenic agents. We discovered that an approved drug, Bithionol, inhibits host caspases and also reduces the detrimental effects of anthrax lethal toxin, diphtheria toxin, cholera toxin, Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A, Botulinum neurotoxin, ricin, and Zika virus. Our study reveals the practicality of identifying host proteins that mediate multiple disease pathways and discovering broad-spectrum therapies that target these hub proteins. PMID:27686742

  7. A toxin-binding alkaline phosphatase fragment synergizes Bt toxin Cry1Ac against susceptible and resistant Helicoverpa armigera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wenbo; Liu, Chenxi; Xiao, Yutao; Zhang, Dandan; Zhang, Yongdong; Li, Xianchun; Tabashnik, Bruce E; Wu, Kongming

    2015-01-01

    Evolution of resistance by insects threatens the continued success of pest control using insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in sprays and transgenic plants. In this study, laboratory selection with Cry1Ac yielded five strains of cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, with resistance ratios at the median lethal concentration (LC50) of activated Cry1Ac ranging from 22 to 1700. Reduced activity and reduced transcription of an alkaline phosphatase protein that binds Cry1Ac was associated with resistance to Cry1Ac in the four most resistant strains. A Cry1Ac-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase from H. armigera (HaALP1f) was not toxic by itself, but it increased mortality caused by Cry1Ac in a susceptible strain and in all five resistant strains. Although synergism of Bt toxins against susceptible insects by toxin-binding fragments of cadherin and aminopeptidase N has been reported previously, the results here provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by a toxin-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase. The results here also provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by any toxin-binding peptide against resistant insects.

  8. A toxin-binding alkaline phosphatase fragment synergizes Bt toxin Cry1Ac against susceptible and resistant Helicoverpa armigera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenbo Chen

    Full Text Available Evolution of resistance by insects threatens the continued success of pest control using insecticidal crystal (Cry proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt in sprays and transgenic plants. In this study, laboratory selection with Cry1Ac yielded five strains of cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, with resistance ratios at the median lethal concentration (LC50 of activated Cry1Ac ranging from 22 to 1700. Reduced activity and reduced transcription of an alkaline phosphatase protein that binds Cry1Ac was associated with resistance to Cry1Ac in the four most resistant strains. A Cry1Ac-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase from H. armigera (HaALP1f was not toxic by itself, but it increased mortality caused by Cry1Ac in a susceptible strain and in all five resistant strains. Although synergism of Bt toxins against susceptible insects by toxin-binding fragments of cadherin and aminopeptidase N has been reported previously, the results here provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by a toxin-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase. The results here also provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by any toxin-binding peptide against resistant insects.

  9. Selected scorpion toxin exposures induce cytokine release in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corzo, Gerardo; Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel

    2017-03-01

    A cytokine screening on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated with selected scorpion toxins (ScTx's) was performed in order to evaluate their effect on human immune cells. The ScTx's chosen for this report were three typical buthid scorpion venom peptides, one with lethal effects on mammals Centruroides suffussus suffusus toxin II (CssII), another, with lethal effects on insects and crustaceans Centruroides noxius toxin 5 (Cn5), and one more without lethal effects Tityus discrepans toxin (Discrepin). A Luminex multiplex analysis was performed in order to determine the amounts chemokines and cytokines IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12-p40, IL-13, interferon alpha (IFN-α), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha TNF-α, and interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10) secreted from human PBMCs exposed to these toxins. Although, the ScTx Cn5 is not lethal for mammals, it was able to induce the secretion of cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, IL-10 and IP-10 in comparison to the lethal CssII, which was able to induce only IP-10 secretion. Discrepin also was able to induce only IP-10. Interestingly, only low amounts of interferons α and β were induced in the presence of the ScTx's assayed. In a synergic experiment, the combination of Discrepin and Cn5 displayed considerable reverse effects on induction of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α, but they had a slight synergic effect on IP-10 cytokine production in comparison with the single effect obtained with the Cn5 alone. Thus, the results obtained suggest that the profile of secreted cytokines promoted by ScTx Cn5 is highly related with a cytokine storm event, and also it suggests that the mammalian lethal neurotoxins are not solely responsible of the scorpion envenomation symptomatology.

  10. Plesiomonas shigelloides exports a lethal cytotoxic-enterotoxin (LCE) by membrane vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludovico, Marilucia Santos; Martins, Luciano Moura; Bianco, Juares Ednaldo Romero; Andrade, Célia Guadalupe Tardelli de Jesus; Falcon, Rosabel; Joazeiro, Paulo Pinto; Gatti, Maria Silvia Viccari; Yano, Tomomasa

    Plesiomonas shigelloides isolated from water in Brazil was previously described as a hemorrhagic heat-labile cytotoxic-enterotoxin producer. We purified this toxin from culture supernatants using ion metallic affinity chromatography (IMAC) followed by molecular exclusion chromatography. The pure toxin presented molecular mass of 50kDa and isoelectric point (pI) around 6.9 by 2D electrophoresis. When injected intravenously, the purified cytotoxic-enterotoxin induced also severe spasms followed by sudden death of mice. Hence, we entitled it as lethal cytotoxic-enterotoxin (LCE). The presence of membrane vesicles (MVs) on cell surfaces of P. shigelloides was observed by scan electron microscopy (SEM). From these MVs the LCE toxin was extracted and confirmed by biological and serological assays. These data suggest that P. shigelloides also exports this cytotoxic-enterotoxin by membrane vesicles, a different mechanism of delivering extra cellular virulence factors, so far not described in this bacterium.

  11. Understanding malarial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starkl Renar, Katarina; Iskra, Jernej; Križaj, Igor

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed.

  12. Quantitative Mass Spectrometry for Bacterial Protein Toxins — A Sensitive, Specific, High-Throughput Tool for Detection and Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne Kalb

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Matrix-assisted laser-desorption time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS is a valuable high-throughput tool for peptide analysis. Liquid chromatography electrospray ionization (LC-ESI tandem-MS provides sensitive and specific quantification of small molecules and peptides. The high analytic power of MS coupled with high-specificity substrates is ideally suited for detection and quantification of bacterial enzymatic activities. As specific examples of the MS applications in disease diagnosis and select agent detection, we describe recent advances in the analyses of two high profile protein toxin groups, the Bacillus anthracis toxins and the Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins. The two binary toxins produced by B. anthracis consist of protective antigen (PA which combines with lethal factor (LF and edema factor (EF, forming lethal toxin and edema toxin respectively. LF is a zinc-dependent endoprotease which hydrolyzes specific proteins involved in inflammation and immunity. EF is an adenylyl cyclase which converts ATP to cyclic-AMP. Toxin-specific enzyme activity for a strategically designed substrate, amplifies reaction products which are detected by MALDI-TOF-MS and LC-ESI-MS/MS. Pre-concentration/purification with toxin specific monoclonal antibodies provides additional specificity. These combined technologies have achieved high specificity, ultrasensitive detection and quantification of the anthrax toxins. We also describe potential applications to diseases of high public health impact, including Clostridium difficile glucosylating toxins and the Bordetella pertussis adenylyl cyclase.

  13. Non-lethal weapons and their characteristics

    OpenAIRE

    DAMJANOVIC DRAGAN Z.

    2015-01-01

    Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than conventional weapons. It is often understood that accidental, incidental, and correlative casualties are risked wherever force is applied, but non-lethal weapons try to minimise the risk as much as possible. Non-lethal weapons are used in combat situations to limit the escalation of c...

  14. NON-LETHAL WEAPONS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than conventional weapons. It is often understood that accidental, incidental, and correlative casualties are risked wherever force is applied, but non-lethal weapons try to minimise the risk as much as possible. Non-lethal weapons are used in combat situations to limit the escalation of c...

  15. Clostridial pore-forming toxins: powerful virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, Michel R

    2014-12-01

    Pore formation is a common mechanism of action for many bacterial toxins. More than one third of clostridial toxins are pore-forming toxins (PFTs) belonging to the β-PFT class. They are secreted as soluble monomers rich in β-strands, which recognize a specific receptor on target cells and assemble in oligomers. Then, they undergo a conformational change leading to the formation of a β-barrel, which inserts into the lipid bilayer forming functional pore. According to their structure, clostridial β-PFTs are divided into several families. Clostridial cholesterol-dependent cytolysins form large pores, which disrupt the plasma membrane integrity. They are potent virulence factors mainly involved in myonecrosis. Clostridial heptameric β-PFTs (aerolysin family and staphylococcal α-hemolysin family) induce small pores which trigger signaling cascades leading to different cell responses according to the cell types and toxins. They are mainly responsible for intestinal diseases, like necrotic enteritis, or systemic diseases/toxic shock from intestinal origin. Clostridial intracellularly active toxins exploit pore formation through the endosomal membrane to translocate the enzymatic component or domain into the cytosol. Single chain protein toxins, like botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, use hydrophobic α-helices to form pores, whereas clostridial binary toxins encompass binding components, which are structurally and functionally related to β-PFTs, but which have acquired the specific activity to internalize their corresponding enzymatic components. Structural analysis suggests that β-PFTs and binding components share a common evolutionary origin.

  16. Delayed toxicity associated with soluble anthrax toxin receptor decoy-Ig fusion protein treatment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane Thomas

    Full Text Available Soluble receptor decoy inhibitors, including receptor-immunogloubulin (Ig fusion proteins, have shown promise as candidate anthrax toxin therapeutics. These agents act by binding to the receptor-interaction site on the protective antigen (PA toxin subunit, thereby blocking toxin binding to cell surface receptors. Here we have made the surprising observation that co-administration of receptor decoy-Ig fusion proteins significantly delayed, but did not protect, rats challenged with anthrax lethal toxin. The delayed toxicity was associated with the in vivo assembly of a long-lived complex comprised of anthrax lethal toxin and the receptor decoy-Ig inhibitor. Intoxication in this system presumably results from the slow dissociation of the toxin complex from the inhibitor following their prolonged circulation. We conclude that while receptor decoy-Ig proteins represent promising candidates for the early treatment of B. anthracis infection, they may not be suitable for therapeutic use at later stages when fatal levels of toxin have already accumulated in the bloodstream.

  17. Interferon-γ Protects from Staphylococcal Alpha Toxin-Induced Keratinocyte Death through Apolipoprotein L1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauweiler, Anne M; Goleva, Elena; Leung, Donald Y M

    2016-03-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterial pathogen that frequently infects the skin, causing lesions and cell destruction through its primary virulence factor, alpha toxin. Here we show that interferon gamma (IFN-?) protects human keratinocytes from cell death induced by staphylococcal alpha toxin. We find that IFN-? prevents alpha toxin binding and reduces expression of the alpha toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10). We determine that the mechanism for IFN-?-mediated resistance to alpha toxin involves the induction of autophagy, a process of cellular adaptation to sublethal damage. We find that IFN-? potently stimulates activation of the primary autophagy effector, light chain 3 (LC3). This process is dependent on upregulation of apolipoprotein L1. Depletion of apolipoprotein L1 by small interfering RNA significantly increases alpha toxin-induced lethality and inhibits activation of light chain 3. We conclude that IFN-? plays a significant role in protecting human keratinocytes from the lethal effects of staphylococcal alpha toxin through apolipoprotein L1-induced autophagy.

  18. Observing the confinement potential of bacterial pore-forming toxin receptors inside rafts with nonblinking Eu(3+)-doped oxide nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Türkcan, Silvan; Masson, Jean-Baptiste; Casanova, Didier; Mialon, Geneviève; Gacoin, Thierry; Boilot, Jean-Pierre; Popoff, Michel R; Alexandrou, Antigoni

    2012-05-16

    We track single toxin receptors on the apical cell membrane of MDCK cells with Eu-doped oxide nanoparticles coupled to two toxins of the pore-forming toxin family: α-toxin of Clostridium septicum and ε-toxin of Clostridium perfringens. These nonblinking and photostable labels do not perturb the motion of the toxin receptors and yield long uninterrupted trajectories with mean localization precision of 30 nm for acquisition times of 51.3 ms. We were thus able to study the toxin-cell interaction at the single-molecule level. Toxins bind to receptors that are confined within zones of mean area 0.40 ± 0.05 μm(2). Assuming that the receptors move according to the Langevin equation of motion and using Bayesian inference, we determined mean diffusion coefficients of 0.16 ± 0.01 μm(2)/s for both toxin receptors. Moreover, application of this approach revealed a force field within the domain generated by a springlike confining potential. Both toxin receptors were found to experience forces characterized by a mean spring constant of 0.30 ± 0.03 pN/μm at 37°C. Furthermore, both toxin receptors showed similar distributions of diffusion coefficient, domain area, and spring constant. Control experiments before and after incubation with cholesterol oxidase and sphingomyelinase show that these two enzymes disrupt the confinement domains and lead to quasi-free motion of the toxin receptors. Our control data showing cholesterol and sphingomyelin dependence as well as independence of actin depolymerization and microtubule disruption lead us to attribute the confinement of both receptors to lipid rafts. These toxins require oligomerization to develop their toxic activity. The confined nature of the toxin receptors leads to a local enhancement of the toxin monomer concentration and may thus explain the virulence of this toxin family.

  19. Double lethal coconut crab (Birgus latro L.) poisoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maillaud, C; Lefebvre, S; Sebat, C; Barguil, Y; Cabalion, P; Cheze, M; Hnawia, E; Nour, M; Durand, F

    2010-01-01

    We report a double lethal coconut crab Birgus latro L. poisoning in New Caledonia. Both patients died after showing gastro-intestinal symptoms, major bradycardia with marked low blood pressure, and finally asystolia. Both had significative hyperkaliemia, suggesting a digitaline-like substance intoxication. Traditional knowledge in the Loyalty Islands relates coconut crab toxicity to the consumption of the Cerbera manghas fruit by the crustacean. Elsewhere previous descriptions of human poisoning with the kernel of fruits of trees belonging to the genus Cerbera, known to contain cardiotoxic cardenolides, appear to be very similar to our cases. Cardenolides assays were performed on patient's serum samples, fruit kernel and on the crustacean guts, which lead us to suppose these two fatal cases were the result of a neriifolin intoxication, this toxin having been transmitted through the coconut crab.

  20. Staphylococcus aureus toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a dangerous pathogen that causes a variety of severe diseases. The virulence of S. aureus is defined by a large repertoire of virulence factors, among which secreted toxins play a preeminent role. Many S. aureus toxins damage biological membranes, leading to cell death. In particular, S. aureus produces potent hemolysins and leukotoxins. Among the latter, some were recently identified to lyse neutrophils after ingestion, representing an especially powerful weapon against bacterial elimination by innate host defense. Furthermore, S. aureus secretes many factors that inhibit the complement cascade or prevent recognition by host defenses. Several further toxins add to this multi-faceted program of S. aureus to evade elimination in the host. This review will give an overview over S. aureus toxins focusing on recent advances in our understanding of how leukotoxins work in receptor-mediated or receptor-independent fashions.

  1. CD44 Promotes intoxication by the clostridial iota-family toxins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darran J Wigelsworth

    Full Text Available Various pathogenic clostridia produce binary protein toxins associated with enteric diseases of humans and animals. Separate binding/translocation (B components bind to a protein receptor on the cell surface, assemble with enzymatic (A component(s, and mediate endocytosis of the toxin complex. Ultimately there is translocation of A component(s from acidified endosomes into the cytosol, leading to destruction of the actin cytoskeleton. Our results revealed that CD44, a multifunctional surface protein of mammalian cells, facilitates intoxication by the iota family of clostridial binary toxins. Specific antibody against CD44 inhibited cytotoxicity of the prototypical Clostridium perfringens iota toxin. Versus CD44(+ melanoma cells, those lacking CD44 bound less toxin and were dose-dependently resistant to C. perfringens iota, as well as Clostridium difficile and Clostridium spiroforme iota-like, toxins. Purified CD44 specifically interacted in vitro with iota and iota-like, but not related Clostridium botulinum C2, toxins. Furthermore, CD44 knockout mice were resistant to iota toxin lethality. Collective data reveal an important role for CD44 during intoxication by a family of clostridial binary toxins.

  2. The RTX pore-forming toxin α-hemolysin of uropathogenic Escherichia coli: progress and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiles, Travis J; Mulvey, Matthew A

    2013-01-01

    Members of the RTX family of protein toxins are functionally conserved among an assortment of bacterial pathogens. By disrupting host cell integrity through their pore-forming and cytolytic activities, this class of toxins allows pathogens to effectively tamper with normal host cell processes, promoting pathogenesis. Here, we focus on the biology of RTX toxins by describing salient properties of a prototype member, α-hemolysin, which is often encoded by strains of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. It has long been appreciated that RTX toxins can have distinct effects on host cells aside from outright lysis. Recently, advances in modeling and analysis of host-pathogen interactions have led to novel findings concerning the consequences of pore formation during host-pathogen interactions. We discuss current progress on longstanding questions concerning cell specificity and pore formation, new areas of investigation that involve toxin-mediated perturbations of host cell signaling cascades and perspectives on the future of RTX toxin investigation.

  3. Comparison of Staphylococcus aureus strains for ability to cause infective endocarditis and lethal sepsis in rabbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaulding, Adam R.; Satterwhite, Erin A.; Lin, Ying-Chi; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N.; Frank, Kristi L.; Merriman, Joseph A.; Schaefers, Matthew M.; Yarwood, Jeremy M.; Peterson, Marnie L.; Schlievert, Patrick M.

    2012-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of infective endocarditis (IE) and sepsis. Both methicillin-resistant (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive (MSSA) strains cause these illnesses. Common S. aureus strains include pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) types USA200, 300, and 400 types where we hypothesize that secreted virulence factors contribute to both IE and sepsis. Rabbit cardiac physiology is considered similar to humans, and rabbits exhibit susceptibility to S. aureus superantigens (SAgs) and cytolysins. As such, rabbits are an excellent model for studying IE and sepsis, which over the course of four days develop IE vegetations and/or fatal septicemia. We examined the ability of MRSA and MSSA strains (4 USA200, 2 USA300, 2 USA400, and three additional common strains, FRI1169, Newman, and COL) to cause vegetations and lethal sepsis in rabbits. USA200, TSST-1+ strains that produce only low amounts of α-toxin, exhibited modest LD50 in sepsis (1 × 108 – 5 × 108) colony-forming units (CFUs), and 3/4 caused significant IE. USA200 strain MNPE, which produces high-levels of α-toxin, was both highly lethal (LD50 5 × 106 CFUs) and effective in causing IE. In contrast, USA300 strains were highly effective in causing lethal sepsis (LD50s 1 × 106 and 5 × 107 CFUs) but were minimally capable of causing IE. Strain Newman, which is phylogenetically related to USA300 strains, was not highly lethal (LD50 of 2 × 109 CFUs) and was effective in causing IE. USA400 strains were both highly lethal (LD50s of 1 × 107 and 5 × 107 CFUs) and highly effective causes of IE. The menstrual TSS isolate FRI1169, that is TSST-1+, produces high-levels of α-toxin, but is not USA200, was both highly lethal and effective in causing IE. Additional studies showed that phenol soluble modulins (PSMs) produced by FRI1169 were important for sepsis but did not contribute to IE. Our studies show that these clonal groups of S. aureus differ in abilities to cause IE and lethal sepsis and

  4. Prenatal domoic acid exposure disrupts mouse pro-social behavior and functional connectivity MRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Brian D.; Pearce, Hadley L.; Khan, Omar; Jarrett, Ben R.; Fair, Damien A.; Lahvis, Garet P.

    2016-01-01

    Domoic acid (DA) is a toxin produced by marine algae and known primarily for its role in isolated outbreaks of Amnestic Shellfish Poisoning and for the damage it inflicts on marine mammals, particularly California sea lions. Lethal effects of DA are often preceded by seizures and coma. Exposure to DA during development can result in subtle and highly persistent effects on brain development and include behavioral changes that resemble diagnostic features of schizophrenia and anomalies in social behavior we believe are relevant to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To more fully examine this hypothesis, we chose to examine adolescent mice exposed in utero to DA for endpoints relevant to ASD, specifically changes in social behavior and network structure, the latter measured by resting state functional connectivity (rsfcMRI). We found that male offspring exposed in utero to DA expressed reproducible declines in social interaction and atypical patterns of functional connectivity in the anterior cingulate, a region of the default mode network that is critical for social functioning. We also found disruptions in global topology in regions involved in the processing of reward, social, and sensory experiences. Finally, we found that DA exposed males expressed a pattern of local over-connectivity. These anomalies in brain connectivity bear resemblance to connectivity patterns in ASD and help validate DA-exposed mice as a model of this mental disability. PMID:27050322

  5. Characteristics and Lethality of a Novel Recombinant Dermonecrotic Venom Phospholipase D from Hemiscorpius lepturus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torabi, Elham; Behdani, Mahdi; Hosseininejad Chafi, Mohammad; Moazzami, Reza; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Khalaj, Vahid; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Pooshang Bagheri, Kamran

    2017-01-01

    Hemoscorpius lepturus is the most medically important scorpion in Iran. The clinical signs of H. lepturus envenomation are remarkably similar to those reported for brown spiders, including dermonecrosis, hematuria, renal failure and even death. The lethality and toxicity of brown spiders’ venom have been attributed to its phospholipase D activity. This study aims to identify a phospholipase D with possible lethality and dermonecrotic activity in H. lepturus venom. In this study, a cDNA library of the venom glands was generated by Illumina RNA sequencing. Phospholipase D (PLD) from H. lepturus was characterized according to its significant similarity with PLDs from brown spiders. The main chain designated as Hl-RecPLD1 (the first recombinant isoform of H. lepturus PLD) was cloned, expressed and purified. Sphingomyelinase, dermonecrotic and lethal activities were examined. Hl-PLD1 showed remarkable sequence similarity and structural homology with PLDs of brown spiders. The conformation of Hl-PLD1 was predicted as a “TIM beta/alpha-barrel”. The lethal dose 50 (LD50) and dermonecrotic activities of Hl-RecPLD1 were determined as 3.1 µg/mouse and 0.7 cm2 at 1 µg respectively. It is the first report indicating that a similar molecular evolutionary mechanism has occurred in both American brown spiders and this Iranian scorpion. In conclusion, Hl-RecPLD1 is a highly active phospholipase D, which would be considered as the lethal dermonecrotic toxin in H. lepturus venom. PMID:28335389

  6. Analysis of the mechanisms that underlie absorption of botulinum toxin by the inhalation route.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Saleem, Fetweh H; Ancharski, Denise M; Joshi, Suresh G; Elias, M; Singh, Ajay; Nasser, Zidoon; Simpson, Lance L

    2012-12-01

    Botulinum toxin is a highly potent oral and inhalation poison, which means that the toxin must have an efficient mechanism for penetration of epithelial barriers. To date, three models for toxin passage across epithelial barriers have been proposed: (i) the toxin itself undergoes binding and transcytosis; (ii) an auxiliary protein, HA35, transports toxin from the apical to the basal side of epithelial cells; and (iii) an auxiliary protein, HA35, acts on the basal side of epithelial cells to disrupt tight junctions, and this permits paracellular flux of toxin. These models were evaluated by studying toxin absorption following inhalation exposure in mice. Three types of experiments were conducted. In the first, the potency of pure neurotoxin was compared with that of progenitor toxin complex, which contains HA35. The results showed that the rate and extent of toxin absorption, as well as the potency of absorbed toxin, did not depend upon, nor were they enhanced by, the presence of HA35. In the second type of experiment, the potencies of pure neurotoxin and progenitor toxin complex were compared in the absence or presence of antibodies on the apical side of epithelial cells. Antibodies directed against the neurotoxin protected against challenge, but antibodies against HA35 did not. In the final type of experiment, the potency of pure neurotoxin and toxin complex was compared in animals pretreated to deliver antibodies to the basal side of epithelial cells. Once again, antibodies directed against the neurotoxin provided resistance to challenge, but antibodies directed against HA35 did not. Taken collectively, the data indicate that the toxin by itself is capable of crossing epithelial barriers. The data do not support any hypothesis in which HA35 is essential for toxin penetration of epithelial barriers.

  7. Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Matters NIH Research Matters July 29, 2013 Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin Structure of typhoid toxin, showing the 2 A subunits ( ... to cultured cells. The scientists next determined the structure of the typhoid toxin. The toxin was already ...

  8. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Stories Español Eye Health / Eye Health A-Z Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Sections Botulinum Toxin (Botox) ... Facial Wrinkles How Does Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Work? Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Written by: Kierstan Boyd ...

  9. An endogenous antitoxin to the lethal venom of the funnel web spider, Atrax robustus, in rabbit sera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheumack, D D; Comis, A; Claassens, R; Mylecharane, E J; Spence, I; Howden, M E

    1991-01-01

    1. An endogenous antitoxin fraction was isolated from non-immune rabbit sera by affinity chromatography with robustoxin bound to the solid support. 2. Robustoxin is the sole lethal toxin in the venom of the male funnel web spider, Atrax robustus. 3. The fraction was found to contain IgG and IgM immunoglobulins. 4. This fraction prevented or reversed the lethal actions of the crude venom in newborn mice, in mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparations, and in anaesthetized monkeys. 5. The antitoxin fraction is of potential value in the therapy of human envenomation by A. robustus.

  10. The structure and mode of action of the dinoflagellate toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akram Najafi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Dinoflagellates are the major causative agents of harmful algal blooms. In different studies, it has been shown that many dinoflagellate species produce various natural toxins. Saxitoxin, brevetoxin, yessotoxin, etc can be considered as the most important neurotoxins. The most important dinoflagellate toxins structures, their origin, structure and mechanisms of action were evaluated in a systematic review. Materials & Methods: Marine dinoflagellates, marine toxins, and their mechanisms of action and structure were keywords for a comprehensive search in online databases including Pubmed, Science Direct, Google Scholar and Scirus. A total of 95 papers were evaluated, however, by omitting similar reports, 68 papers were included in the study. Results: Dinoflagellates toxins are usually polycyclic ether and polyketaide compounds that have distinct mechanisms of action including alteration in different ion channels and/or pumps at cell membrane, effect on the normal functioning of neuronal and other excitable tissues, inhibition of serine/threonine phosphoprotein phosphatases, disrupting major mechanisms of controlling cellular functions, and alteration in cellular cytoskeleton. However, the precise mechanisms of action of few toxins are not determined yet. Conclusion: The clarification of the dinoflagellate toxins structures and their mechanisms of action may be helpful for novel drug design, therapeutic measures and to overcome against marine toxicity. 

  11. SNAKE VENOMICS OF Crotalus tigris: THE MINIMALIST TOXIN ARSENAL OF THE DEADLIEST NEARTIC RATTLESNAKE VENOM

    Science.gov (United States)

    CALVETE, Juan J.; PÉREZ, Alicia; LOMONTE, Bruno; SÁNCHEZ, Elda E.; SANZ, Libia

    2012-01-01

    We report the proteomic and antivenomic characterization of Crotalus tigris venom. This venom exhibits the highest lethality for mice among rattlesnakes and the simplest toxin proteome reported to date. The venom proteome of C. tigris comprises 7–8 gene products from 6 toxin families: the presynaptic β-neurotoxic heterodimeric PLA2, Mojave toxin, and two serine proteinases comprise, respectively, 66% and 27% of the C. tigris toxin arsenal, whereas a VEGF-like protein, a CRISP molecule, a medium-sized disintegrin, and 1–2 PIII-SVMPs, each represents 0.1–5% of the total venom proteome. This toxin profile really explains the systemic neuro- and myotoxic effects observed in envenomated animals. In addition, we found that venom lethality of C. tigris and other North American rattlesnake type II venoms correlates with the concentration of Mojave toxin A-subunit, supporting the view that the neurotoxic venom phenotype of crotalid type II venoms may be described as a single-allele adaptation. Our data suggest that the evolutionary trend towards neurotoxicity, which has been also reported for the South American rattlesnakes, may have resulted by paedomorphism. The ability of an experimental antivenom to effectively immunodeplete proteins from the type II venoms of C. tigris, C. horridus, C. oreganus helleri, C. scutulatus scutulatus, and S. catenatus catenatus, indicated the feasibility of generating a pan-American anti-Crotalus type II antivenom, suggested by the identification of shared evolutionary trends among South American and North American Crotalus. PMID:22181673

  12. Mass Spectrometric Detection of Bacterial Protein Toxins and Their Enzymatic Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Boyer, Anne E; Barr, John R

    2015-08-31

    Mass spectrometry has recently become a powerful technique for bacterial identification. Mass spectrometry approaches generally rely upon introduction of the bacteria into a matrix-assisted laser-desorption time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometer with mass spectrometric recognition of proteins specific to that organism that form a reliable fingerprint. With some bacteria, such as Bacillus anthracis and Clostridium botulinum, the health threat posed by these organisms is not the organism itself, but rather the protein toxins produced by the organisms. One such example is botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), a potent neurotoxin produced by C. botulinum. There are seven known serotypes of BoNT, A-G, and many of the serotypes can be further differentiated into toxin variants, which are up to 99.9% identical in some cases. Mass spectrometric proteomic techniques have been established to differentiate the serotype or toxin variant of BoNT produced by varied strains of C. botulinum. Detection of potent biological toxins requires high analytical sensitivity and mass spectrometry based methods have been developed to determine the enzymatic activity of BoNT and the anthrax lethal toxins produced by B. anthracis. This enzymatic activity, unique for each toxin, is assessed with detection of the toxin-induced cleavage of strategically designed peptide substrates by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry offering unparalleled specificity. Furthermore, activity assays allow for the assessment of the biological activity of a toxin and its potential health risk. Such methods have become important diagnostics for botulism and anthrax. Here, we review mass spectrometry based methods for the enzymatic activity of BoNT and the anthrax lethal factor toxin.

  13. Staphylococcus aureus in vitro secretion of alpha toxin (hla) correlates with the affiliation to clonal complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monecke, Stefan; Müller, Elke; Büchler, Joseph; Stieber, Bettina; Ehricht, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    The alpha toxin of Staphylococcus aureus is a pore forming toxin that penetrates host cell membranes causing osmotic swelling, rupture, lysis and subsequently cell death. Haemolysin alpha is toxic to a wide range of different mammalian cells; i.e., neurotoxic, dermonecrotic, haemolytic, and it can cause lethality in a wide variety of animals. In this study, the in vitro alpha toxin production of 648 previously genotyped isolates of S. aureus was measured quantitatively using antibody microarrays. Isolates originated from medical and veterinary settings and were selected in order to represent diverse clonal complexes and defined clinical conditions. Generally, the production of alpha toxin in vitro is related to the clonal complex affiliation. For clonal complexes CC22, CC30, CC45, CC479, CC705 and others, invariably no alpha toxin production was noted under the given in vitro conditions, while others, such as CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15 or CC96 secreted variable or high levels of alpha toxin. There was no correlation between alpha toxin yield and clinical course of the disease, or between alpha toxin yield and host species.

  14. Staphylococcus aureus in vitro secretion of alpha toxin (hla correlates with the affiliation to clonal complexes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Monecke

    Full Text Available The alpha toxin of Staphylococcus aureus is a pore forming toxin that penetrates host cell membranes causing osmotic swelling, rupture, lysis and subsequently cell death. Haemolysin alpha is toxic to a wide range of different mammalian cells; i.e., neurotoxic, dermonecrotic, haemolytic, and it can cause lethality in a wide variety of animals. In this study, the in vitro alpha toxin production of 648 previously genotyped isolates of S. aureus was measured quantitatively using antibody microarrays. Isolates originated from medical and veterinary settings and were selected in order to represent diverse clonal complexes and defined clinical conditions. Generally, the production of alpha toxin in vitro is related to the clonal complex affiliation. For clonal complexes CC22, CC30, CC45, CC479, CC705 and others, invariably no alpha toxin production was noted under the given in vitro conditions, while others, such as CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15 or CC96 secreted variable or high levels of alpha toxin. There was no correlation between alpha toxin yield and clinical course of the disease, or between alpha toxin yield and host species.

  15. In vivo dynamics of active edema and lethal factors during anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougeaux, Clémence; Becher, François; Ezan, Eric; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas; Goossens, Pierre L.

    2016-01-01

    Lethal and edema toxins are critical virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis. However, little is known about their in vivo dynamics of production during anthrax. In this study, we unraveled for the first time the in vivo kinetics of production of the toxin components EF (edema factor) and LF (lethal factor) during cutaneous infection with a wild-type toxinogenic encapsulated strain in immuno-competent mice. We stratified the asynchronous infection process into defined stages through bioluminescence imaging (BLI), while exploiting sensitive quantitative methods by measuring the enzymatic activity of LF and EF. LF was produced in high amounts, while EF amounts steadily increased during the infectious process. This led to high LF/EF ratios throughout the infection, with variations between 50 to a few thousands. In the bloodstream, the early detection of active LF and EF despite the absence of bacteria suggests that they may exert long distance effects. Infection with a strain deficient in the protective antigen toxin component enabled to address its role in the diffusion of LF and EF within the host. Our data provide a picture of the in vivo complexity of the infectious process. PMID:26996161

  16. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    The criteria for recognizing a chemical compound for the toxin are vague and gave it the possibility of inclusion in this group a number of biological agents. Toxins list is extensive, but the interest is focused on bacterial toxins, poisons derived from snake venoms, algae and plant proteins, and small molecules. Particular attention is focused on the so-called "sea" toxins, which include tetrodotoxin, brevetoxin and saxitoxin. This indicates the search for a new hitherto unknown potential bioterrorist threats. © 2015 MEDPRESS.

  17. Comparisons of native Shiga toxins (Stxs type 1 and 2 with chimeric toxins indicate that the source of the binding subunit dictates degree of toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa M Russo

    Full Text Available Shiga toxin (Stx-producing E. coli (STEC cause food-borne outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis. The main virulence factor expressed by STEC, Stx, is an AB5 toxin that has two antigenically distinct forms, Stx1a and Stx2a. Although Stx1a and Stx2a bind to the same receptor, globotriaosylceramide (Gb3, Stx2a is more potent than Stx1a in mice, whereas Stx1a is more cytotoxic than Stx2a in cell culture. In this study, we used chimeric toxins to ask what the relative contribution of individual Stx subunits is to the differential toxicity of Stx1a and Stx2a in vitro and in vivo. Chimeric stx1/stx2 operons were generated by PCR such that the coding regions for the A2 and B subunits of one toxin were combined with the coding region for the A1 subunit of the heterologous toxin. The toxicities of purified Stx1a, Stx2a, and the chimeric Stxs were determined on Vero and HCT-8 cell lines, while polarized HCT-8 cell monolayers grown on permeable supports were used to follow toxin translocation. In all in vitro assays, the activity of the chimeric toxin correlated with that of the parental toxin from which the B subunit originated. The origin of the native B subunit also dictated the 50% lethal dose of toxin after intraperitoneal intoxication of mice; however, the chimeric Stxs exhibited reduced oral toxicity and pH stability compared to Stx1a and Stx2a. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that the differential toxicity of the chimeric toxins for cells and mice is determined by the origin of the B subunit.

  18. Gut microbes of mammalian herbivores facilitate intake of plant toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Weiss, Robert B; Cox, James; Dale, Colin; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-10-01

    The foraging ecology of mammalian herbivores is strongly shaped by plant secondary compounds (PSCs) that defend plants against herbivory. Conventional wisdom holds that gut microbes facilitate the ingestion of toxic plants; however, this notion lacks empirical evidence. We investigated the gut microbiota of desert woodrats (Neotoma lepida), some populations of which specialise on highly toxic creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). Here, we demonstrate that gut microbes are crucial in allowing herbivores to consume toxic plants. Creosote toxins altered the population structure of the gut microbiome to facilitate an increase in abundance of genes that metabolise toxic compounds. In addition, woodrats were unable to consume creosote toxins after the microbiota was disrupted with antibiotics. Last, ingestion of toxins by naïve hosts was increased through microbial transplants from experienced donors. These results demonstrate that microbes can enhance the ability of hosts to consume PSCs and therefore expand the dietary niche breadth of mammalian herbivores.

  19. 炭疽毒素及其致病机制的研究进展%Progress in research on anthrax toxins and their pathogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    武利涛; 魏建春; 海荣

    2012-01-01

    Anthrax toxins include edema toxin (ET) and lethal toxin (LT) which are critical pathogenic factors produced by Bacillus anthracis. ET is composed of protective antigen (PA) and edema factor (EF) , while a mixture of PA and lethal factor (LF) form LT. This review summaries the progress in research on anthrax toxins and their pathogenesis from the aspects of the gene, structure and biological activity and the scientific significance of the research in the prevention and control of anthrax.%炭疽毒素包括水肿毒素( edema toxin,ET)和致死毒素(lethal toxin,LT),是炭疽芽胞杆菌产生的重要致病因子.ET由保护性抗原(protective antigen,PA)和水肿因子(edema factor,EF)组成,LT由PA和致死因子(lethal factor,LF)组成.本文从基因、结构及生物学活性等方面概述了炭疽毒素各组分在炭疽芽胞杆菌致病机制中的作用方式,并阐述了其对炭疽防治措施的科学指导意义.

  20. Substitutions of aspartic acid for glycine-220 and of arginine for glycine-664 in the triple helix of the pro alpha 1(I) chain of type I procollagen produce lethal osteogenesis imperfecta and disrupt the ability of collagen fibrils to incorporate crystalline hydroxyapatite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culbert, A A; Lowe, M P; Atkinson, M; Byers, P H; Wallis, G A; Kadler, K E

    1995-01-01

    We identified two infants with lethal (type II) osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) who were heterozygous for mutations in the COL1A1 gene that resulted in substitutions of aspartic acid for glycine at position 220 and arginine for glycine at position 664 in the product of one COL1A1 allele in each individual. In normal age- and site-matched bone, approximately 70% (by number) of the collagen fibrils were encrusted with plate-like crystallites of hydroxyapatite. In contrast, approximately 5% (by number) of the collagen fibrils in the probands' bone contained crystallites. In contrast with normal bone, the c-axes of hydroxyapatite crystallites were sometimes poorly aligned with the long axis of fibrils obtained from OI bone. Chemical analysis showed that the OI samples contained normal amounts of calcium. The probands' bone samples contained type I collagen, overmodified type I collagen and elevated levels of type III and V collagens. On the basis of biochemical and morphological data, the fibrils in the OI samples were co-polymers of normal and mutant collagen. The results are consistent with a model of fibril mineralization in which the presence of abnormal type I collagen prevents normal collagen in the same fibril from incorporating hydroxyapatite crystallites. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:7487936

  1. Lethal entanglement in baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassoff, Rachel M; Moore, Kathleen M; McLellan, William A; Barco, Susan G; Rotsteins, David S; Moore, Michael J

    2011-10-06

    Understanding the scenarios whereby fishing gear entanglement of large whales induces mortality is important for the development of mitigation strategies. Here we present a series of 21 cases involving 4 species of baleen whales in the NW Atlantic, describing the available sighting history, necropsy observations, and subsequent data analyses that enabled the compilation of the manners in which entanglement can be lethal. The single acute cause of entanglement mortality identified was drowning from entanglement involving multiple body parts, with the animal's inability to surface. More protracted causes of death included impaired foraging during entanglement, resulting in starvation after many months; systemic infection arising from open, unresolved entanglement wounds; and hemorrhage or debilitation due to severe gear-related damage to tissues. Serious gear-induced injury can include laceration of large vessels, occlusion of the nares, embedding of line in growing bone, and massive periosteal proliferation of new bone in an attempt to wall off constricting, encircling lines. These data show that baleen whale entanglement is not only a major issue for the conservation of some baleen whale populations, but is also a major concern for the welfare of each affected individual.

  2. [Protein toxins of Staphylococcus aureus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamsutdinov, A F; Tiurin, Iu A

    2014-01-01

    Main scientific-research studies regarding protein bacterial toxins of the most widespread bacteria that belong to Staphylococcus spp. genus and in particular the most pathogenic species for humans--Staphylococcus aureus, are analyzed. Structural and biological properties of protein toxins that have received the name of staphylococcus pyrogenic toxins (PTSAg) are presented. Data regarding genetic regulation of secretion and synthesis of these toxins and 3 main regulatory genetic systems (agr--accessory gene regulator, xpr--extracellular protein regulator, sar--staphylococcal accessory regulator) that coordinate synthesis of the most important protein toxins and enzymes for virulence of S. aureus, are presented.

  3. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee Shen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6, which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.

  4. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Aimee

    2010-01-01

    Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD) in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX) and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6), which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins. PMID:22069620

  5. Autoproteolytic activation of bacterial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Aimee

    2010-05-01

    Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD) in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX) and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP(6)), which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.

  6. Revisiting the Concept of Targeting Only Bacillus anthracis Toxins as a Treatment for Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glinert, Itai; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Weiss, Shay; Schlomovitz, Josef; Ben-Shmuel, Amir; Mechaly, Adva; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim

    2016-08-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are effective in preventing the development of fatal anthrax disease both in humans and in relevant animal models. The Bacillus anthracis toxins lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] plus PA) and edema toxin (edema factor [EF] plus PA) are essential for the establishment of the infection, as inactivation of these toxins results in attenuation of the pathogen. Since the toxins reach high toxemia levels at the bacteremic stages of the disease, the CDC's recommendations include combining antibiotic treatment with antitoxin (anti-PA) immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that while treatment with a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody was highly efficient as postexposure prophylaxis treatment, it failed to protect rabbits with any detectable bacteremia (≥10 CFU/ml). In addition, we show that while PA vaccination was effective against a subcutaneous spore challenge, it failed to protect rabbits against systemic challenges (intravenous injection of vegetative bacteria) with the wild-type Vollum strain or a toxin-deficient mutant. To test the possibility that additional proteins, which are secreted by the bacteria under pathogenicity-stimulating conditions in vitro, may contribute to the vaccine's potency, we immunized rabbits with a secreted protein fraction from a toxin-null mutant. The antiserum raised against the secreted fraction reacts with the bacteria in an immunofluorescence assay. Immunization with the secreted protein fraction did not protect the rabbits against a systemic challenge with the fully pathogenic bacteria. Full protection was obtained only by a combined vaccination with PA and the secreted protein fraction. Therefore, these results indicate that an effective antiserum treatment in advanced stages of anthrax must include toxin-neutralizing antibodies in combination with antibodies against bacterial cell targets.

  7. Anthrax lethal factor cleavage of Nlrp1 is required for activation of the inflammasome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan L Levinsohn

    Full Text Available NOD-like receptor (NLR proteins (Nlrps are cytosolic sensors responsible for detection of pathogen and danger-associated molecular patterns through unknown mechanisms. Their activation in response to a wide range of intracellular danger signals leads to formation of the inflammasome, caspase-1 activation, rapid programmed cell death (pyroptosis and maturation of IL-1β and IL-18. Anthrax lethal toxin (LT induces the caspase-1-dependent pyroptosis of mouse and rat macrophages isolated from certain inbred rodent strains through activation of the NOD-like receptor (NLR Nlrp1 inflammasome. Here we show that LT cleaves rat Nlrp1 and this cleavage is required for toxin-induced inflammasome activation, IL-1 β release, and macrophage pyroptosis. These results identify both a previously unrecognized mechanism of activation of an NLR and a new, physiologically relevant protein substrate of LT.

  8. An insecticidal toxin from Nephila clavata spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Lin; Fang, Mingqian; Chen, Mengrou; Zhou, Chunling; Ombati, Rose; Hakim, Md Abdul; Mo, Guoxiang; Lai, Ren; Yan, Xiuwen; Wang, Yumin; Yang, Shilong

    2017-07-01

    Spiders are the most successful insect predators given that they use their venom containing insecticidal peptides as biochemical weapons for preying. Due to the high specificity and potency of peptidic toxins, discoveries of insecticidal toxins from spider venom have provided an opportunity to obtain natural compounds for agricultural applications without affecting human health. In this study, a novel insecticidal toxin (μ-NPTX-Nc1a) was identified and characterized from the venom of Nephila clavata. Its primary sequence is GCNPDCTGIQCGWPRCPGGQNPVMDKCVSCCPFCPPKSAQG which was determined by automated Edman degradation, cDNA cloning, and MS/MS analysis. BLAST search indicated that Nc1a shows no similarity with known peptides or proteins, indicating that Nc1a belongs to a novel family of insecticidal peptide. Nc1a displayed inhibitory effects on NaV and KV channels in cockroach dorsal unpaired median neurons. The median lethal dose (LD50) of Nc1a on cockroach was 573 ng/g. Herein, a study that identifies a novel insecticidal toxin, which can be a potential candidate and/or template for the development of bioinsecticides, is presented.

  9. Affinity purification of staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and its pathologic effects in rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, M W; Arko, R J; Chandler, F W; Bridges, N B

    1986-01-01

    Toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) was purified to apparent homogeneity by chromatofocusing and affinity chromatography. The amino acid composition of the toxin was very similar to that reported for TSST-1 by other investigators. The amino-terminal amino acid was serine. A partial specific volume of 0.73 ml/g was calculated for the toxin from the amino acid data, and a molecular weight of 19,200 +/- 1,300 was determined by hydrodynamic methods. New Zealand white rabbits of both sexes were equally susceptible to the lethal effects of the toxin; however, older rabbits (greater than 12 months) were far more susceptible than young adults or weanlings. The 50% lethal dose of TSST-1 in older rabbits was 50 to 60 micrograms/kg when injected subcutaneously and 20 to 30 micrograms/kg when injected intravenously. Enhancement of lethal endotoxin shock by TSST-1 could not be demonstrated when both toxins were injected subcutaneously; however, lethal shock did occur when endotoxin (10 micrograms/kg) was injected intravenously after TSST-1 had been injected by either the subcutaneous (50 to 60 micrograms/kg) or the intravenous (20 to 30 micrograms/kg) route. Endotoxin alone was not lethal at a dose of 500 micrograms/kg of body weight when injected subcutaneously. When injected intravenously, endotoxin at a dose of 500 micrograms/kg was not lethal in weanling males or in females in any age group; however, young (6 to 7 months) and adult (greater than 12 months) males were killed by endotoxin doses as low as 45 to 50 micrograms/kg. Histopathologic studies of rabbits by both sexes which died as a result of TSST-1 alone or in combination with endotoxin showed extensive damage to organs rich in lymphoid and mononuclear phagocytic cells such as the thymus, mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. Severe congestion of these organs as well as erythrophagocytosis and lymphoid depletion in the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes were noted. Congestion and hemorrhage were also found in

  10. Cytolethal distending toxin in Escherichia coli O157:H7 : spectrum of conservation, structure, and endothelial toxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friedrich, Alexander W; Lu, Shan; Bielaszewska, Martina; Prager, Rita; Bruns, Phillip; Xu, Jian-Guo; Tschäpe, Helmut; Karch, Helge

    2006-01-01

    We identified the cytolethal distending toxin V (CDT-V) gene cluster in 19 (4.9%) of 391 enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7. cdt-V+ strains belonged to five phage types (PTs) and were most frequent within PTs 14 and 34. CDT-V was expressed in all but two cdt-V+ strains and was lethal to cult

  11. Cytolethal distending toxin in Escherichia coli O157:H7 : spectrum of conservation, structure, and endothelial toxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friedrich, Alexander W; Lu, Shan; Bielaszewska, Martina; Prager, Rita; Bruns, Phillip; Xu, Jian-Guo; Tschäpe, Helmut; Karch, Helge

    2006-01-01

    We identified the cytolethal distending toxin V (CDT-V) gene cluster in 19 (4.9%) of 391 enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7. cdt-V+ strains belonged to five phage types (PTs) and were most frequent within PTs 14 and 34. CDT-V was expressed in all but two cdt-V+ strains and was lethal to cult

  12. Selecting key toxins for focused development of elapid snake antivenoms and inhibitors guided by a Toxicity Score

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Lohse, Brian; Lomonte, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    on Elapidae, values for Median Lethal Dose (LD50) are known for 203 toxins, belonging to seven protein sub-families, originating from 40 species (Fig. 1). Furthermore, the number of elapids for which venom-wide proteomics or transcriptomics studies have been reported has now reached 49 out of 355 described...

  13. Use of immunofluorescence and animal tests to detect growth and toxin production by Clostridum botulinum type E in food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Midura, T; Taclindo, C; Nygaard, G S; Bodily, H L; Wood, R M

    1968-01-01

    The appearance of Clostridium botulinum type E organisms and of toxin in experimentally inoculated packages of turkey roll was followed to study the time relationship between the presence of vegetative cells and the demonstration of toxin. The presence of vegetative cells was determined by immunofluorescence, and animal tests were used to assay toxin production. Growth initiated from detoxified spores of C. botulinum type E resulted in toxin formation within 24 hr. Presence of fluorescing vegetative cells and of toxin coincided from 1 to 14 days of incubation. Beginning with the next testing date, day 21, differences were observed. Toxin could be detected for a longer time than vegetative cells. Neither toxin nor organisms could be found after 56 days of incubation. The mouse lethal dose tests (MLD per gram of turkey roll) showed fluctuations in the amount of toxin present throughout the period of testing. Maximal amounts of toxin were present during the period when fluorescing organisms were also more numerous. The applications of immunofluorescence in the study and in the diagnosis of botulism is discussed.

  14. Cytolethal distending toxin B as a cell-killing component of tumor-targeted anthrax toxin fusion proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachran, C; Hasikova, R; Leysath, C E; Sastalla, I; Zhang, Y; Fattah, R J; Liu, S; Leppla, S H

    2014-01-16

    Cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) is produced by Gram-negative bacteria of several species. It is composed of three subunits, CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC, with CdtB being the catalytic subunit. We fused CdtB from Haemophilus ducreyi to the N-terminal 255 amino acids of Bacillus anthracis toxin lethal factor (LFn) to design a novel, potentially potent antitumor drug. As a result of this fusion, CdtB was transported into the cytosol of targeted cells via the efficient delivery mechanism of anthrax toxin. The fusion protein efficiently killed various human tumor cell lines by first inducing a complete cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase, followed by induction of apoptosis. The fusion protein showed very low toxicity in mouse experiments and impressive antitumor effects in a Lewis Lung carcinoma model, with a 90% cure rate. This study demonstrates that efficient drug delivery by a modified anthrax toxin system combined with the enzymatic activity of CdtB has great potential as anticancer treatment and should be considered for the development of novel anticancer drugs.

  15. Tissue-specific patterning of host innate immune responses by Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Russell E N; Berube, Bryan J; Sampedro, Georgia R; DeDent, Andrea C; Bubeck Wardenburg, Juliane

    2014-01-01

    Immunomodulatory cytotoxins are prominent virulence factors produced by Staphylococcus aureus, a leading cause of bacterial sepsis, skin infection, and pneumonia. S. aureus α-toxin is a pore-forming toxin that utilizes a widely expressed receptor, ADAM10, to injure the host epithelium, endothelium, and immune cells. As each host tissue is characterized by a unique composition of resident cells and recruited immune cells, the outcome of α-toxin-mediated injury may depend on the infected tissue environment. Utilizing myeloid lineage-specific Adam10 knockout mice, we show that α-toxin exerts tissue-specific effects on innate immunity to staphylococcal infection. Loss of ADAM10 expression exacerbates skin infection, yet affords protection against lethal pneumonia. These diverse outcomes are not related to altered immune cell recruitment, but rather correlate with a defect in toxin-induced IL-1β production. Extension of these studies through analysis of ADAM10 double-knockout mice affecting both the myeloid lineage and either the skin or lung epithelium highlight the prominence of toxin-induced injury to the epithelium in governing the outcome of infection. Together, these studies provide evidence of tissue specificity of pore-forming cytotoxin action in the modulation of host immunity, and illustrate that the outcome of infection is a collective manifestation of all effects of the toxin within the tissue microenvironment.

  16. Characterization of six toxins from the venom of the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus mardochei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, O; Martin, M F; Rochat, H

    1987-02-02

    When the venom of the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus mardochei was submitted to a combination of several chromatographic steps (including gel-filtration and ion-exchange chromatographies), seven proteins were obtained, six being lethal to mice. These proteins have been characterized by their chemical, immunological and toxic properties. The amino acid sequence (66 residues) of Bom III, the most noteworthy toxin of the venom as for its amino acid composition, is proposed following automatic sequencing of the reduced and S-methylated protein and of chymotryptic peptides. It was obvious that this sequence is somewhat different from those of toxins belonging to the same structural and immunological group (Bom III was found to be immunologically related to Buthus occitanus tunetanus toxins I and II which both share with it 56% of homology. Furthermore, Bom III was found to be unable to compete (as does Bot I) with toxin II of Androctonus australis Hector (an alpha-type toxin) for neurotoxin binding site 3 on the sodium channel of rat brain synaptosomes. Bom III was also unable to compete with toxin II of Centruroides suffusus suffusus (a beta-type toxin) to neurotoxin binding site 4 of the same channel.

  17. Targeted delivery of an ADP-ribosylating bacterial toxin into cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahaf , N.-I.; Lang, A. E.; Kaiser, L.; Fichter, C. D.; Lassmann, S.; McCluskey, A.; Augspach, A.; Aktories, K.; Schmidt, G.

    2017-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is an attractive target for bacterial toxins. The ADP-ribosyltransferase TccC3 from the insect bacterial pathogen Photorhabdus luminescence modifies actin to force its aggregation. We intended to transport the catalytic part of this toxin preferentially into cancer cells using a toxin transporter (Protective antigen, PA) which was redirected to Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (EGFR) or to human EGF receptors 2 (HER2), which are overexpressed in several cancer cells. Protective antigen of anthrax toxin forms a pore through which the two catalytic parts (lethal factor and edema factor) or other proteins can be transported into mammalian cells. Here, we used PA as a double mutant (N682A, D683A; mPA) which cannot bind to the two natural anthrax receptors. Each mutated monomer is fused either to EGF or to an affibody directed against the human EGF receptor 2 (HER2). We established a cellular model system composed of two cell lines representing HER2 overexpressing esophageal adenocarcinomas (EACs) and EGFR overexpressing esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs). We studied the specificity and efficiency of the re-directed anthrax pore for transport of TccC3 toxin and established Photorhabdus luminescence TccC3 as a toxin suitable for the development of a targeted toxin selectively killing cancer cells. PMID:28128281

  18. Prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin systems: novel regulations of the toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuka, Yuichi

    2016-05-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are widely conserved in prokaryotic plasmids and chromosomes and are linked to many roles in cell physiology, including plasmid maintenance, stress response, persistence and protection from phage infection. A TA system is composed of a stable toxin and a labile antitoxin that inhibits a harmful effect of the cognate toxin. When gene expression from the TA loci is repressed under certain conditions such as nutrient starvation, the toxin is freed from the rapidly degrading antitoxin and obstructs an essential cellular process, such as DNA replication, translation and peptidoglycan synthesis, which subsequently causes growth arrest. TA systems are classified into five types according to the nature and the function of antitoxins, and the activity of toxins is tightly regulated in a variety of ways. This short-review highlights several novel regulatory mechanisms for Escherichia coli toxins that we recently discovered.

  19. Lektine, Toxine und Immunotoxine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhlenbruck, Gerhard

    1981-12-01

    A definition and classification of lectins (carbohydrate-binding (glyco)proteins) is given on the basis of new data and experimental results. Especially the biological role of bacterial, vertebrate and sponge lectins is discussed. The lectin-toxin combination offers an excellent model not only for studying adhesion to and penetration through the cell membrane, but also for hybridization with antibody fragments showing anti-tumor specificity.

  20. Immunochromatographic purification of a nematocyst toxin from the cnidarian Chironex fleckeri (sea wasp).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, C E; Pockl, E E; Calton, G J; Burnett, J W

    1984-01-01

    A cardiotoxin from "milked venom" of the sea wasp (Chironex fleckeri) was purified by immunochromatography on an immobilized mouse monoclonal anti-Portuguese man-o'war (Physalia physalis) venom antibody column. The 20,000 molecular weight toxin caused bradycardia followed by cell lysis when applied to cultured chick embryonic cardiocytes at concentrations higher than 1.7 micrograms protein per ml and was lethal to mice at 0.04 micrograms protein per g. The toxin affected ion permeability in lipid bilayer membranes by forming monovalent cation channels.

  1. [Cytolethal distending toxins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curová, K; Kmeťová, M; Siegfried, L

    2014-06-01

    Cytolethal distending toxins (CDT) are intracellularly acting proteins which interfere with the eukaryotic cell cycle. They are produced by Gram-negative bacteria with affinity to mucocutaneous surfaces and could play a role in the pathogenesis of various mammalian diseases. The functional toxin is composed of three proteins: CdtB entering the nucleus and by its nuclease activity inducing nuclear fragmentation and chromatin disintegration, CdtA, and CdtC, the two latter being responsible for toxin attachment to the surface of the target cell. Cytotoxic effect of CDT leads to the cell cycle arrest before the cell enters mitosis and to further changes (cell distension and death, apoptosis) depending on the cell type. Thus, CDT may function as a virulence factor in pathogenic bacteria that produce it and thus may contribute to the initiation of certain diseases. Most important are inflammatory bowel diseases caused by intestinal bacteria, periodontitis with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans as the aetiologic agent and ulcus molle where Haemophilus ducreyi is the causative agent.

  2. Method for detecting biological toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

  3. Intracellular trafficking of bacterial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jeffrey M; Tsai, Billy

    2016-08-01

    Bacterial toxins often translocate across a cellular membrane to gain access into the host cytosol, modifying cellular components in order to exert their toxic effects. To accomplish this feat, these toxins traffic to a membrane penetration site where they undergo conformational changes essential to eject the toxin's catalytic subunit into the cytosol. In this brief review, we highlight recent findings that elucidate both the trafficking pathways and membrane translocation mechanisms of toxins that cross the plasma, endosomal, or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. These findings not only illuminate the specific nature of the host-toxin interactions during entry, but should also provide additional therapeutic strategies to prevent or alleviate the bacterial toxin-induced diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Alpha-Toxin Promotes Mucosal Biofilm Formation by Staphylococcus aureus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele J Anderson

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus causes numerous diseases in humans ranging from the mild skin infections to serious, life-threatening, superantigen-mediated Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS. S. aureus may also be asymptomatically carried in the anterior nares, vagina or on the skin, which serve as reservoirs for infection. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis clonal type USA200 is the most widely disseminated colonizer and a major cause of TSS. Our prior studies indicated that α-toxin was a major epithelial proinflammatory exotoxin produced by TSS S. aureus USA200 isolates. It also facilitated the penetration of TSS Toxin-1 (TSST-1 across vaginal mucosa. However, the majority of menstrual TSS isolates produce low α-toxin due to a nonsense point mutation at codon 113, designated hly, suggesting mucosal adaptation. The aim of this study was to characterize the differences between TSS USA200 strains [high (hla+ and low (hly+ α-toxin producers] in their abilities to infect and disrupt vaginal mucosal tissue. A mucosal model was developed using ex vivo porcine vaginal mucosa, LIVE/DEAD® staining and confocal microscropy to characterize biofilm formation and tissue viability of TSS USA 200 isolates CDC587 and MN8, which contain the α-toxin pseudogene (hly, MNPE (hla+ and MNPE isogenic hla knockout (hlaKO. All TSS strains grew to similar bacterial densities (1-5 x 108 CFU on the mucosa and were proinflammatory over 3 days. However, MNPE formed biofilms with significant reductions in the mucosal viability whereas neither CDC587, MN8 (hly+, or MNPE hlaKO, formed biofilms and were less cytotoxic. The addition of exogenous, purified α-toxin to MNPE hlaKO restored the biofilm phenotype. Our studies suggest α-toxin affects S. aureus phenotypic growth on vaginal mucosa, by promoting tissue disruption and biofilm formation; and α–toxin mutants (hly are not benign colonizers, but rather form a different type of infection, which we have termed high density pathogenic

  5. Toxin Plasmids of Clostridium perfringens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L.; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  6. Recombinant Toxins for Cancer Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastan, Ira; Fitzgerald, David

    1991-11-01

    Recombinant toxins target cell surface receptors and antigens on tumor cells. They kill by mechanisms different from conventional chemotherapy, so that cross resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents should not be a problem. Furthermore, they are not mutagens and should not induce secondary malignancies or accelerate progression of benign malignancies. They can be mass-produced cheaply in bacteria as homogeneous proteins. Either growth factor-toxin fusions or antibody-toxin fusions can be chosen, depending on the cellular target.

  7. Intracellular Trafficking of Bacterial Toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Jeffrey M.; Tsai, Billy

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxins often translocate across a cellular membrane to gain access into the host cytosol, modifying cellular components in order to exert their toxic effects. To accomplish this feat, these toxins traffic to a membrane penetration site where they undergo conformational changes essential to eject the toxin’s catalytic subunit into the cytosol. In this brief review, we highlight recent findings that elucidate both the trafficking pathways and membrane translocation mechanisms of toxin...

  8. Pore formation by Cry toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soberón, Mario; Pardo, Liliana; Muñóz-Garay, Carlos; Sánchez, Jorge; Gómez, Isabel; Porta, Helena; Bravo, Alejandra

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria produce insecticidal Cry and Cyt proteins used in the biological control of different insect pests. In this review, we will focus on the 3d-Cry toxins that represent the biggest group of Cry proteins and also on Cyt toxins. The 3d-Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins that induce cell death by forming ionic pores into the membrane of the midgut epithelial cells in their target insect. The initial steps in the mode of action include ingestion of the protoxin, activation by midgut proteases to produce the toxin fragment and the interaction with the primary cadherin receptor. The interaction of the monomeric CrylA toxin with the cadherin receptor promotes an extra proteolytic cleavage, where helix alpha-1 of domain I is eliminated and the toxin oligomerization is induced, forming a structure of 250 kDa. The oligomeric structure binds to a secondary receptor, aminopeptidase N or alkaline phosphatase. The secondary receptor drives the toxin into detergent resistant membrane microdomains formingpores that cause osmotic shock, burst of the midgut cells and insect death. Regarding to Cyt toxins, these proteins have a synergistic effect on the toxicity of some Cry toxins. Cyt proteins are also proteolytic activated in the midgut lumen of their target, they bind to some phospholipids present in the mosquito midgut cells. The proposed mechanism of synergism between Cry and Cyt toxins is that Cyt1Aa function as a receptor for Cry toxins. The Cyt1A inserts into midgut epithelium membrane and exposes protein regions that are recognized by Cry11Aa. It was demonstrated that this interaction facilitates the oligomerization of Cry11Aa and also its pore formation activity.

  9. THE SYNERGY OF BACTERIAL TOXINS,

    Science.gov (United States)

    TOXINS AND ANTITOXINS, STRENGTH(PHYSIOLOGY), BACTERIA, CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS, CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI , CLOSTRIDIUM , STAPHYLOCOCCUS, ESCHERICHIA COLI, PROTEUS, ETIOLOGY, ANTIGENS, ANTIBODIES, AMINO ACIDS.

  10. Chironex fleckeri (box jellyfish) venom proteins: expansion of a cnidarian toxin family that elicits variable cytolytic and cardiovascular effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Diane L; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; McInerney, Bernie V; Mulvenna, Jason; Seymour, Jamie E; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2014-02-21

    The box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri produces extremely potent and rapid-acting venom that is harmful to humans and lethal to prey. Here, we describe the characterization of two C. fleckeri venom proteins, CfTX-A (∼40 kDa) and CfTX-B (∼42 kDa), which were isolated from C. fleckeri venom using size exclusion chromatography and cation exchange chromatography. Full-length cDNA sequences encoding CfTX-A and -B and a third putative toxin, CfTX-Bt, were subsequently retrieved from a C. fleckeri tentacle cDNA library. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the new toxins belong to a small family of potent cnidarian pore-forming toxins that includes two other C. fleckeri toxins, CfTX-1 and CfTX-2. Phylogenetic inferences from amino acid sequences of the toxin family grouped CfTX-A, -B, and -Bt in a separate clade from CfTX-1 and -2, suggesting that the C. fleckeri toxins have diversified structurally and functionally during evolution. Comparative bioactivity assays revealed that CfTX-1/2 (25 μg kg(-1)) caused profound effects on the cardiovascular system of anesthetized rats, whereas CfTX-A/B elicited only minor effects at the same dose. Conversely, the hemolytic activity of CfTX-A/B (HU50 = 5 ng ml(-1)) was at least 30 times greater than that of CfTX-1/2. Structural homology between the cubozoan toxins and insecticidal three-domain Cry toxins (δ-endotoxins) suggests that the toxins have a similar pore-forming mechanism of action involving α-helices of the N-terminal domain, whereas structural diversification among toxin members may modulate target specificity. Expansion of the cnidarian toxin family therefore provides new insights into the evolutionary diversification of box jellyfish toxins from a structural and functional perspective.

  11. Anthrax toxins induce shock in rats by depressed cardiac ventricular function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linley E Watson

    Full Text Available Anthrax infections are frequently associated with severe and often irreversible hypotensive shock. The isolated toxic proteins of Bacillus anthracis produce a non-cytokine-mediated hypotension in rats by unknown mechanisms. These observations suggest the anthrax toxins have direct cardiovascular effects. Here, we characterize these effects. As a first step, we administered systemically anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx and edema toxin (EdTx to cohorts of three to twelve rats at different doses and determined the time of onset, degree of hypotension and mortality. We measured serum concentrations of the protective antigen (PA toxin component at various time points after infusion. Peak serum levels of PA were in the microg/mL range with half-lives of 10-20 minutes. With doses that produced hypotension with delayed lethality, we then gave bolus intravenous infusions of toxins to groups of four to six instrumented rats and continuously monitored blood pressure by telemetry. Finally, the same doses used in the telemetry experiments were given to additional groups of four rats, and echocardiography was performed pretreatment and one, two, three and twenty-four hours post-treatment. LeTx and EdTx each produced hypotension. We observed a doubling of the velocity of propagation and 20% increases in left ventricular diastolic and systolic areas in LeTx-treated rats, but not in EdTx-treated rats. EdTx-but not LeTx-treated rats showed a significant increase in heart rate. These results indicate that LeTx reduced left ventricular systolic function and EdTx reduced preload. Uptake of toxins occurs readily into tissues with biological effects occurring within minutes to hours of serum toxin concentrations in the microg/mL range. LeTx and EdTx yield an irreversible shock with subsequent death. These findings should provide a basis for the rational design of drug interventions to reduce the dismal prognosis of systemic anthrax infections.

  12. A Polychaete's powerful punch: venom gland transcriptomics of Glycera reveals a complex cocktail of toxin homologs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M; Campbell, Lahcen I; Richter, Sandy; Hering, Lars; Sykes, Dan; Hetmank, Jörg; Jenner, Ronald A; Bleidorn, Christoph

    2014-09-05

    Glycerids are marine annelids commonly known as bloodworms. Bloodworms have an eversible proboscis adorned with jaws connected to venom glands. Bloodworms prey on invertebrates, and it is known that the venom glands produce compounds that can induce toxic effects in animals. Yet, none of these putative toxins has been characterized on a molecular basis. Here we present the transcriptomic profiles of the venom glands of three species of bloodworm, Glycera dibranchiata, Glycera fallax and Glycera tridactyla, as well as the body tissue of G. tridactyla. The venom glands express a complex mixture of transcripts coding for putative toxin precursors. These transcripts represent 20 known toxin classes that have been convergently recruited into animal venoms, as well as transcripts potentially coding for Glycera-specific toxins. The toxins represent five functional categories: Pore-forming and membrane-disrupting toxins, neurotoxins, protease inhibitors, other enzymes, and CAP domain toxins. Many of the transcripts coding for putative Glycera toxins belong to classes that have been widely recruited into venoms, but some are homologs of toxins previously only known from the venoms of scorpaeniform fish and monotremes (stonustoxin-like toxin), turrid gastropods (turripeptide-like peptides), and sea anemones (gigantoxin I-like neurotoxin). This complex mixture of toxin homologs suggests that bloodworms employ venom while predating on macroscopic prey, casting doubt on the previously widespread opinion that G. dibranchiata is a detritivore. Our results further show that researchers should be aware that different assembly methods, as well as different methods of homology prediction, can influence the transcriptomic profiling of venom glands. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  13. Antiradiation Vaccine: Immunological neutralization of Radiation Toxins at Acute Radiation Syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Introduction: Current medical management of the Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) does not include immune prophylaxis based on the Antiradiation Vaccine. Existing principles for the treatment of acute radiation syndromes are based on the replacement and supportive therapy. Haemotopoietic cell transplantation is recomended as an important method of treatment of a Haemopoietic form of the ARS. Though in the different hospitals and institutions, 31 pa-tients with a haemopoietic form have previously undergone transplantation with stem cells, in all cases(100%) the transplantants were rejected. Lethality rate was 87%.(N.Daniak et al. 2005). A large amount of biological substances or antigens isolated from bacterias (flagellin and derivates), plants, different types of venom (honeybees, scorpions, snakes) have been studied. This biological active substances can produce a nonspecific stimulation of immune system of mammals and protect against of mild doses of irradiation. But their radioprotection efficacy against high doses of radiation were not sufficient. Relative radioprotection characteristics or adaptive properties of antioxidants were expressed only at mild doses of radiation. However antioxidants demonstrated a very low protective efficacy at high doses of radiation. Some ex-periments demonstrated even a harmful effect of antioxidants administered to animals that had severe forms of the ARS. Only Specific Radiation Toxins roused a specific antigenic stim-ulation of antibody synthesis. An active immunization by non-toxic doses of radiation toxins includes a complex of radiation toxins that we call the Specific Radiation Determinant (SRD). Immunization must be provided not less than 24 days before irradiation and it is effective up to three years and more. Active immunization by radiation toxins significantly reduces the mortality rate (100%) and improves survival rate up to 60% compare with the 0% sur-vival rate among the irradiated animals in control groups

  14. Evidence for the involvement of nematocidal toxins of Purpureocillium lilacinum 6029 cultured on Karanja deoiled cake liquid medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Abhishek; Sharma, Satyawati; Mittal, Aditya; Naik, S N

    2016-05-01

    In present study, in vitro nematocidal bioassays, FT-IR and HPLC analysis were employed to demonstrate the involvement of toxins of Purpureocillium lilacinum in killing root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita). During growth study, maximum mycelial biomass (10.52 g/l) in de-oiled Karanja cake medium was achieved on 8th day while complete mortality of nematodes was obtained by 6th day filtrate (FKSM). Maximum production of crude nematocidal toxin was recorded on 7th day suggesting that the toxin production was paralleled with growth of the fungus. The median lethal concentration (LC50) determined for the crude toxin from 6th day to 10th day ranged from 89.41 to 43.21 ppm. The median lethal time (LT50) for the crude toxin of FKSM was found to be 1.46 h. This is the first report of implementing a comparative infra-red spectroscopy coupled with HPLC analysis to predict the presence of nematocidal toxin in the fungal filtrate cultured on Karanja deoiled cake liquid medium.

  15. Botulinum toxin the poison that heals: A brief review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Shubha Ranjan; Passi, Deepak; Singh, Mahinder; Singh, Purnima; Sharma, Sarang; Sharma, Abhimanyu

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram-positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. This paper aims at discussing botulinum neurotoxin, its structure, mechanism of action, pharmacology, its serotypes and the reasons for wide use of type A, the various indications and contraindications of the use of botulinum neurotoxin and finally the precautions taken when botulinum neurotoxin is used as a treatment approach. We have searched relevant articles on this subject in various medical databases including Google Scholar, PubMed Central, ScienceDirect, Wiley Online Library, Scopus, and Copernicus. The search resulted in more than 2669 articles, out of which a total of 187 were reviewed. However, the review has been further constricted into only 54 articles as has been presented in this manuscript keeping in mind the page limitation and the limitation to the number of references. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin (BT) is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle-associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. A fascinating aspect of BT research in recent years has been the development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility. It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for the treatment of human diseases. The present review focuses on both warfare potential as well as medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin.

  16. Polycystic ovary syndrome and environmental toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutkowska, Aleksandra Zofia; Diamanti-Kandarakis, Evanthia

    2016-09-15

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common, heterogeneous, and multifactorial endocrine disorder in premenopausal women. The pathophysiology of this endocrinopathy is still unclear; however, the heterogeneity of its features within ethnic races, geographic location, and families suggests that environment and lifestyle are of prime importance. This work is mainly focused on the possible role of the most common and studied environmental toxins for this syndrome in the pathogenesis of PCOS. Plasticizers, such as bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates, which belong to the categories of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and advanced glycation end products (AGEs), affect humans' health in everyday, industrialized life; therefore special attention should be paid to such exposure. Timing of exposure to EDCs is crucial for the intensity of adverse health effects. It is now evident that fetuses, infants, and/or young children are the most susceptible groups, especially in the early development periods. Prenatal exposure to EDCs that mimic endogenous hormones may contribute to the altered fetal programming and in consequence lead to PCOS and other adverse health effects, potentially transgenerationally. Acute or prolonged exposure to EDCs and AGEs through different life cycle stages may result in destabilization of the hormonal homeostasis and lead to disruption of reproductive functions. They may also interfere with metabolic alterations such as obesity, insulin resistance, and compensatory hyperinsulinemia that can exacerbate the PCOS phenotype and contribute to PCOS consequences such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Since wide exposure to environmental toxins and their role in the pathophysiology of PCOS are supported by extensive data derived from diverse scientific models, protective strategies and strong recommendations should be considered to reduce human exposure to protect present and future generations from their adverse health effects. Copyright

  17. Staphylococcus aureus α toxin potentiates opportunistic bacterial lung infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Taylor S; Hilliard, Jamese J; Jones-Nelson, Omari; Keller, Ashley E; O'Day, Terrence; Tkaczyk, Christine; DiGiandomenico, Antonio; Hamilton, Melissa; Pelletier, Mark; Wang, Qun; Diep, Binh An; Le, Vien T M; Cheng, Lily; Suzich, JoAnn; Stover, C Kendall; Sellman, Bret R

    2016-03-01

    Broad-spectrum antibiotic use may adversely affect a patient's beneficial microbiome and fuel cross-species spread of drug resistance. Although alternative pathogen-specific approaches are rationally justified, a major concern for this precision medicine strategy is that co-colonizing or co-infecting opportunistic bacteria may still cause serious disease. In a mixed-pathogen lung infection model, we find that the Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor α toxin potentiates Gram-negative bacterial proliferation, systemic spread, and lethality by preventing acidification of bacteria-containing macrophage phagosomes, thereby reducing effective killing of both S. aureus and Gram-negative bacteria. Prophylaxis or early treatment with a single α toxin neutralizing monoclonal antibody prevented proliferation of co-infecting Gram-negative pathogens and lethality while also promoting S. aureus clearance. These studies suggest that some pathogen-specific, antibody-based approaches may also work to reduce infection risk in patients colonized or co-infected with S. aureus and disparate drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial opportunists.

  18. Australian venomous jellyfish, envenomation syndromes, toxins and therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibballs, James

    2006-12-01

    The seas and oceans around Australia harbour numerous venomous jellyfish. Chironex fleckeri, the box jellyfish, is the most lethal causing rapid cardiorespiratory depression and although its venom has been characterised, its toxins remain to be identified. A moderately effective antivenom exists which is also partially effective against another chirodropid, Chiropsalmus sp. Numerous carybdeids, some unidentified, cause less severe illness, including Carybdea rastoni whose toxins CrTX-A and CrTX-B are large proteins. Carukia barnesi, another small carybdeid is one cause of the 'Irukandji' syndrome which includes delayed pain from severe muscle cramping, vomiting, anxiety, restlessness, sweating and prostration, and occasionally severe hypertension and acute cardiac failure. The syndrome is in part caused by release of catecholamines but the cause of heart failure is undefined. The venom contains a sodium channel modulator. Two species of Physalia are present and although one is potentially lethal, has not caused death in Australian waters. Other significant genera of jellyfish include Tamoya, Pelagia, Cyanea, Aurelia and Chyrosaora.

  19. Cross-reactivity of anthrax and C2 toxin: protective antigen promotes the uptake of botulinum C2I toxin into human endothelial cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelika Kronhardt

    Full Text Available Binary toxins are among the most potent bacterial protein toxins performing a cooperative mode of translocation and exhibit fatal enzymatic activities in eukaryotic cells. Anthrax and C2 toxin are the most prominent examples for the AB(7/8 type of toxins. The B subunits bind both host cell receptors and the enzymatic A polypeptides to trigger their internalization and translocation into the host cell cytosol. C2 toxin is composed of an actin ADP-ribosyltransferase (C2I and C2II binding subunits. Anthrax toxin is composed of adenylate cyclase (EF and MAPKK protease (LF enzymatic components associated to protective antigen (PA binding subunit. The binding and translocation components anthrax protective antigen (PA(63 and C2II of C2 toxin share a sequence homology of about 35%, suggesting that they might substitute for each other. Here we show by conducting in vitro measurements that PA(63 binds C2I and that C2II can bind both EF and LF. Anthrax edema factor (EF and lethal factor (LF have higher affinities to bind to channels formed by C2II than C2 toxin's C2I binds to anthrax protective antigen (PA(63. Furthermore, we could demonstrate that PA in high concentration has the ability to transport the enzymatic moiety C2I into target cells, causing actin modification and cell rounding. In contrast, C2II does not show significant capacity to promote cell intoxication by EF and LF. Together, our data unveiled the remarkable flexibility of PA in promoting C2I heterologous polypeptide translocation into cells.

  20. Passive Immunotherapy Protects against Enteric Invasion and Lethal Sepsis in a Murine Model of Gastrointestinal Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bruce; Xie, Tao; Rotstein, David; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M

    2015-09-29

    The principal portal for anthrax infection in natural animal outbreaks is the digestive tract. Enteric exposure to anthrax, which is difficult to detect or prevent in a timely manner, could be exploited as an act of terror through contamination of human or animal food. Our group has developed a novel animal model of gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax for evaluation of disease pathogenesis and experimental therapeutics, utilizing vegetative Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) administered to A/J mice (a complement-deficient strain) by oral gavage. We hypothesized that a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody (mAb) * that neutralizes the protective antigen (PA) component of B. anthracis lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) could be an effective treatment. Although the efficacy of this anti-anthrax PA mAb has been shown in animal models of inhalational anthrax, its activity in GI infection had not yet been ascertained. We hereby demonstrate that passive immunotherapy with anti-anthrax PA mAb, administered at the same time as gastrointestinal exposure to B. anthracis, prevents lethal sepsis in nearly all cases (>90%), while a delay of up to forty-eight hours in treatment still greatly reduces mortality following exposure (65%). Moreover, passive immunotherapy protects against enteric invasion, associated mucosal injury and subsequent dissemination by gastrointestinal B. anthracis, indicating that it acts to prevent the initial stages of infection. * Expired raxibacumab being cycled off the Strategic National Stockpile; biological activity confirmed by in vitro assay.

  1. Genetic diversity within Clostridium botulinum serotypes, botulinum neurotoxin gene clusters and toxin subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Karen K; Smith, Theresa J

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum is a species of spore-forming anaerobic bacteria defined by the expression of any one or two of seven serologically distinct botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) designated BoNT/A-G. This Gram-positive bacterium was first identified in 1897 and since then the paralyzing and lethal effects of its toxin have resulted in the recognition of different forms of the intoxication known as food-borne, infant, or wound botulism. Early microbiological and biochemical characterization of C. botulinum isolates revealed that the bacteria within the species had different characteristics and expressed different toxin types. To organize the variable bacterial traits within the species, Group I-IV designations were created. Interestingly, it was observed that isolates within different Groups could express the same toxin type and conversely a single Group could express different toxin types. This discordant phylogeny between the toxin and the host bacteria indicated that horizontal gene transfer of the toxin was responsible for the variation observed within the species. The recent availability of multiple C. botulinum genomic sequences has offered the ability to bioinformatically analyze the locations of the bont genes, the composition of their toxin gene clusters, and the genes flanking these regions to understand their variation. Comparison of the genomic sequences representing multiple serotypes indicates that the bont genes are not in random locations. Instead the analyses revealed specific regions where the toxin genes occur within the genomes representing serotype A, B, C, E, and F C. botulinum strains and C. butyricum type E strains. The genomic analyses have provided evidence of horizontal gene transfer, site-specific insertion, and recombination events. These events have contributed to the variation observed among the neurotoxins, the toxin gene clusters and the bacteria that contain them, and has supported the historical microbiological, and biochemical

  2. Development of a recombinant toxin fragment vaccine for Clostridium difficile infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karczewski, Jerzy; Zorman, Julie; Wang, Su; Miezeiewski, Matthew; Xie, Jinfu; Soring, Keri; Petrescu, Ioan; Rogers, Irene; Thiriot, David S; Cook, James C; Chamberlin, Mihaela; Xoconostle, Rachel F; Nahas, Debbie D; Joyce, Joseph G; Bodmer, Jean-Luc; Heinrichs, Jon H; Secore, Susan

    2014-05-19

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis, a disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The disease is mostly of nosocomial origin, with elderly patients undergoing anti-microbial therapy being particularly at risk. C. difficile produces two large toxins: Toxin A (TcdA) and Toxin B (TcdB). The two toxins act synergistically to damage and impair the colonic epithelium, and are primarily responsible for the pathogenesis associated with CDI. The feasibility of toxin-based vaccination against C. difficile is being vigorously investigated. A vaccine based on formaldehyde-inactivated Toxin A and Toxin B (toxoids) was reported to be safe and immunogenic in healthy volunteers and is now undergoing evaluation in clinical efficacy trials. In order to eliminate cytotoxic effects, a chemical inactivation step must be included in the manufacturing process of this toxin-based vaccine. In addition, the large-scale production of highly toxic antigens could be a challenging and costly process. Vaccines based on non-toxic fragments of genetically engineered versions of the toxins alleviate most of these limitations. We have evaluated a vaccine assembled from two recombinant fragments of TcdB and explored their potential as components of a novel experimental vaccine against CDI. Golden Syrian hamsters vaccinated with recombinant fragments of TcdB combined with full length TcdA (Toxoid A) developed high titer IgG responses and potent neutralizing antibody titers. We also show here that the recombinant vaccine protected animals against lethal challenge with C. difficile spores, with efficacy equivalent to the toxoid vaccine. The development of a two-segment recombinant vaccine could provide several advantages over toxoid TcdA/TcdB such as improvements in manufacturability.

  3. Anthrax toxin targeting of myeloid cells through the CMG2 receptor is essential for establishment of Bacillus anthracis infections in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shihui; Miller-Randolph, Sharmina; Crown, Devorah; Moayeri, Mahtab; Sastalla, Inka; Okugawa, Shu; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Bacillus anthracis kills through a combination of bacterial infection and toxemia. Anthrax toxin working via the CMG2 receptor mediates lethality late in infection, but its roles early in infection remain unclear. We generated myeloid-lineage specific CMG2-deficient mice to examine the roles of macrophages, neutrophils, and other myeloid cells in anthrax pathogenesis. Macrophages and neutrophils isolated from these mice were resistant to anthrax toxin. However, the myeloid-specific CMG2-deficient mice remained fully sensitive to both anthrax lethal and edema toxins, demonstrating that targeting of myeloid cells is not responsible for anthrax toxin-induced lethality. Surprisingly, the myeloid-specific CMG2-deficient mice were completely resistant to B. anthracis infection. Neutrophil depletion experiments suggest that B. anthracis relies on anthrax toxin secretion to evade the scavenging functions of neutrophils to successfully establish infection. This work demonstrates that anthrax toxin uptake through CMG2 and the resulting impairment of myeloid cells specifically neutrophils, is essential to anthrax infection. PMID:21075356

  4. Protein- and DNA-based anthrax toxin vaccines confer protection in guinea pigs against inhalational challenge with Bacillus cereus G9241.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, John; Bell, Matt; Darko, Christian; Barnewall, Roy; Keane-Myers, Andrea

    2014-11-01

    In the past decade, several Bacillus cereus strains have been isolated from otherwise healthy individuals who succumbed to bacterial pneumonia presenting symptoms resembling inhalational anthrax. One strain was indistinguishable from B. cereus G9241, previously cultured from an individual who survived a similar pneumonia-like illness and which was shown to possess a complete set of plasmid-borne anthrax toxin-encoding homologs. The finding that B. cereus G9241 pathogenesis in mice is dependent on pagA1-derived protective antigen (PA) synthesis suggests that an anthrax toxin-based vaccine may be effective against this toxin-encoding B. cereus strain. Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs were immunized with protein- and DNA-based anthrax toxin-based vaccines, immune responses were evaluated and survival rates were calculated after lethal aerosol exposure with B. cereus G9241 spores. Each vaccine induced seroconversion with the protein immunization regimen eliciting significantly higher serum levels of antigen-specific antibodies at the prechallenge time-point compared with the DNA-protein prime-boost immunization schedule. Complete protection against lethal challenge was observed in all groups with a detectable prechallenge serum titer of toxin neutralizing antibodies. For the first time, we demonstrated that the efficacy of fully defined anthrax toxin-based vaccines was protective against lethal B. cereus G9241 aerosol challenge in the guinea pig animal model.

  5. Lethality Index 2008-2014: Less shootings, same lethality, more opacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Silva Forné

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This article evaluates the use of lethal force by Mexican federal security forces during shootings with presumed members of organized crime from 2008-2014. The authors use official data and press reports on deaths and wounded in shootings to construct indicators such as the number of dead civilians over the number of dead officials from the federal security forces and the number of dead civilians over the number of wounded civilians. In a context where certain factors that contribute to an excessive use of force become more common, the results of the study show a growing use of lethal force. This raises questions over the possible excessive use of lethal force as a normal or systematic practice. The study also shows a growing context of opacity in the infor­mation available to evaluate the use of lethal force and the general lack of a legal framework to regulate the use of lethal force in Mexico.

  6. A recombinant carboxy-terminal domain of alpha-toxin protects mice against Clostridium perfringens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagahama, Masahiro; Oda, Masataka; Kobayashi, Keiko; Ochi, Sadayuki; Takagishi, Teruhisa; Shibutani, Masahiro; Sakurai, Jun

    2013-05-01

    Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin (CP, 370 residues) is one of the main agents involved in the development of gas gangrene. In this study, the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the C-terminal domain (CP251-370) of the toxin and phospholipase C (PLC; CB, 372 residues) of Clostridum bifermentans isolated from cases of clostridium necrosis were examined. The recombinant proteins were expressed as glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins. Antibodies that cross-reacted with alpha-toxin were produced after immunization with recombinant proteins including GST-CP251-370, GST-CP281-370, GST-CP311-370, CB1-372 and GST-CB251-372. Anti-GST-CP251-370, anti-GST-CP281-370 and anti-GST-CP311-370 sera neutralized both the PLC and hemolytic activities of alpha-toxin, whereas anti-CB1-372 and anti-GST-CB251-372 weakly neutralized these activities. Immunization with GST-CP251-370 and GST-CP281-370 provided protection against the lethal effects of the toxin and C. perfringens type A NCTC8237. Partial protection from the toxin and C. perfringens was elicited by immunization with GST-CP311-370 and CB1-372. GST-CP251-370 and GST-CP281-370 are promising candidates for vaccines for clostridial-induced gas gangrene.

  7. The adherens junctions control susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Lauren M; Marceau, Caleb D; Starkl, Philipp M; Lumb, Jennifer H; Shah, Jimit; Guerrera, Diego; Cooper, Rachel L; Merakou, Christina; Bouley, Donna M; Meng, Wenxiang; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Takeichi, Masatoshi; Galli, Stephen J; Bagnoli, Fabio; Citi, Sandra; Carette, Jan E; Amieva, Manuel R

    2015-11-17

    Staphylococcus aureus is both a transient skin colonizer and a formidable human pathogen, ranking among the leading causes of skin and soft tissue infections as well as severe pneumonia. The secreted bacterial α-toxin is essential for S. aureus virulence in these epithelial diseases. To discover host cellular factors required for α-toxin cytotoxicity, we conducted a genetic screen using mutagenized haploid human cells. Our screen identified a cytoplasmic member of the adherens junctions, plekstrin-homology domain containing protein 7 (PLEKHA7), as the second most significantly enriched gene after the known α-toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10). Here we report a new, unexpected role for PLEKHA7 and several components of cellular adherens junctions in controlling susceptibility to S. aureus α-toxin. We find that despite being injured by α-toxin pore formation, PLEKHA7 knockout cells recover after intoxication. By infecting PLEKHA7(-/-) mice with methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 LAC strain, we demonstrate that this junctional protein controls disease severity in both skin infection and lethal S. aureus pneumonia. Our results suggest that adherens junctions actively control cellular responses to a potent pore-forming bacterial toxin and identify PLEKHA7 as a potential nonessential host target to reduce S. aureus virulence during epithelial infections.

  8. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 3: Evaluation of core structures and further modifications to the C2-side chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Thai, April; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Sankaran, Banumathi; Lehrer, Axel; Wong, Teri; Johns, Lisa; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2012-03-15

    Four core structures capable of providing sub-nanomolar inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor (LF) were evaluated by comparing the potential for toxicity, physicochemical properties, in vitro ADME profiles, and relative efficacy in a rat lethal toxin (LT) model of LF intoxication. Poor efficacy in the rat LT model exhibited by the phenoxyacetic acid series (3) correlated with low rat microsome and plasma stability. Specific molecular interactions contributing to the high affinity of inhibitors with a secondary amine in the C2-side chain were revealed by X-ray crystallography.

  9. A lethal combination of toxins and biofilms aids soft tissue fossilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKenzie, L. A.; Hinman, N. W.; Kohn, M. J.; Olin, P. H.

    2012-12-01

    Biofilms, thin microbial communities encased in extracellular polymeric substances, are thought to aid in fossilization, particularly in cases of extraordinary preservation of soft tissues in Konservat-Lagerstätten deposits. The mechanisms by which this occurs, however, are poorly understood. Modern marine biofilms take up trace elements (e.g., Cu, P, Fe, Zn, Cd), some of which are toxic. In this study we investigated trace element patterns across worm fossils from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang biota (Yunnan, China) to explore whether toxic metals preferentially accumulated in soft tissues, retarding biodegradation and promoting extraordinary preservation. This biota is the oldest of the Burgess Shale Type (BST) Lagerstätten, which preserve soft-bodied fossils that range in age from early Cambrian to Ordovician. Concentrations of 24 light elements, transition metals, heavy metals, actinides and lanthanides were measured using laser-ablation ICP-MS in 2-4 mm long transects across rock matrix and 1-2 mm wide fossils to create matrix-worm-matrix geochemical profiles. Spatial and compositional resolutions were ~50 μm and ~1ppm. Six worm fossils were analyzed, and all show higher concentrations of P, Sc, V, Cr, Fe, Ni, Cu, Mo, Sb, Th, and U than the matrix. Increases in Na, Mg, Al, K, Ca, Mn, Co, Sr, Ba, Ce, and Pb were found in some, but not all samples. None of the samples showed significant increases in Ti. Abiotic processes cannot explain increased concentrations of all of these elements, which include both redox-sensitive and immobile elements. Instead we propose that biofilms formed on the surface of the organisms shortly after death (hours to days). Bioaccumulation of toxic trace elements sealed the worms under a thin, deadly trace-element-rich film that prevented further degradation. This process allowed diagenetic cements to form a rigid rock matrix and preserve these delicate fossils. If so, trace element accumulation by biofilms may provide the key for understanding the occurrence of soft tissues in the fossil record, such as BST deposits and other Lagerstätten.

  10. Atomic structure of anthrax protective antigen pore elucidates toxin translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jiansen; Pentelute, Bradley L; Collier, R John; Zhou, Z Hong

    2015-05-28

    Anthrax toxin, comprising protective antigen, lethal factor, and oedema factor, is the major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, an agent that causes high mortality in humans and animals. Protective antigen forms oligomeric prepores that undergo conversion to membrane-spanning pores by endosomal acidification, and these pores translocate the enzymes lethal factor and oedema factor into the cytosol of target cells. Protective antigen is not only a vaccine component and therapeutic target for anthrax infections but also an excellent model system for understanding the mechanism of protein translocation. On the basis of biochemical and electrophysiological results, researchers have proposed that a phi (Φ)-clamp composed of phenylalanine (Phe)427 residues of protective antigen catalyses protein translocation via a charge-state-dependent Brownian ratchet. Although atomic structures of protective antigen prepores are available, how protective antigen senses low pH, converts to active pore, and translocates lethal factor and oedema factor are not well defined without an atomic model of its pore. Here, by cryo-electron microscopy with direct electron counting, we determine the protective antigen pore structure at 2.9-Å resolution. The structure reveals the long-sought-after catalytic Φ-clamp and the membrane-spanning translocation channel, and supports the Brownian ratchet model for protein translocation. Comparisons of four structures reveal conformational changes in prepore to pore conversion that support a multi-step mechanism by which low pH is sensed and the membrane-spanning channel is formed.

  11. Evolutionary classification of toxin mediated interactions in microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Gunther F; Jetschke, Gottfried

    2010-03-01

    A trade-off between the parameters of Lotka-Volterra systems is used to give verifications of relations between intrinsic growth rate and limiting capacity and the stability type of the resulting dynamical system. The well known rock-paper-scissors game serves as a template for toxin mediated interactions, which is best represented by the bacteriocin producing Escherichia coli bacteria. There, we have three strains of the same species. The producer produces a toxin lethal to the sensitive, while the resistant is able to protect itself from that toxin. Due to the fact that there are costs for production and for resistance, a dynamics similar to the rock-paper-scissors game results. By using an adaptive dynamics approach for competitive Lotka-Volterra systems and assuming an inverse relation (trade-off) between intrinsic growth rate (IGR) and limiting capacity (LC) we obtain evolutionary and convergence stable relations between the IGR's and the LC's. Furthermore this evolutionary process leads to a phase topology of the population dynamics with a globally stable interior fixed point by leaving the interaction parameters constant. While the inverse trade-off stabilizes coexistence and does not allow branching, toxicity itself can promote diversification. The results are discussed in view of several biological examples indicating that the above results are structurally valid. 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Impedance spectroscopy for the detection and identification of unknown toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, B. C.; Plopper, G. E.; Paluh, J. L.; Phamduy, T. B.; Corr, D. T.; Chrisey, D. B.

    2012-06-01

    Advancements in biological and chemical warfare has allowed for the creation of novel toxins necessitating a universal, real-time sensor. We have used a function-based biosensor employing impedance spectroscopy using a low current density AC signal over a range of frequencies (62.5 Hz-64 kHz) to measure the electrical impedance of a confluent epithelial cell monolayer at 120 sec intervals. Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) epithelial cells were grown to confluence on thin film interdigitated gold electrodes. A stable impedance measurement of 2200 Ω was found after 24 hrs of growth. After exposure to cytotoxins anthrax lethal toxin and etoposide, the impedance decreased in a linear fashion resulting in a 50% drop in impedance over 50hrs showing significant difference from the control sample (~20% decrease). Immunofluorescent imaging showed that apoptosis was induced through the addition of toxins. Similarities of the impedance signal shows that the mechanism of cellular death was the same between ALT and etoposide. A revised equivalent circuit model was employed in order to quantify morphological changes in the cell monolayer such as tight junction integrity and cell surface area coverage. This model showed a faster response to cytotoxin (2 hrs) compared to raw measurements (20 hrs). We demonstrate that herein that impedance spectroscopy of epithelial monolayers serves as a real-time non-destructive sensor for unknown pathogens.

  13. An efficient method for the purification of proteins from four distinct toxin-antitoxin modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterckx, Yann G-J; De Gieter, Steven; Zorzini, Valentina; Hadži, San; Haesaerts, Sarah; Loris, Remy; Garcia-Pino, Abel

    2015-04-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules are stress response elements that are ubiquitous in the genomes of bacteria and archaea. Production and subsequent purification of individual TA proteins is anything but straightforward as over-expression of the toxin gene is lethal to bacterial and eukaryotic cells and over-production of the antitoxin leads to its proteolytic degradation because of its inherently unstructured nature. Here we describe an effective production and purification strategy centered on an on-column denaturant-induced dissociation of the toxin-antitoxin complex. The success of the method is demonstrated by its application on four different TA families, encoding proteins with distinct activities and folds. A series of biophysical and in vitro activity tests show that the purified proteins are of high quality and suitable for structural studies.

  14. Purification, amino-acid sequence and partial characterization of two toxins with anti-insect activity from the venom of the South American scorpion Tityus bahiensis (Buthidae).

    OpenAIRE

    2001-01-01

    We report here the isolation by a two-step chromatographic procedure of two new toxins from the South American scorpion Tityus bahiensis. Their amino-acid sequences and some of their biological features were established. The two toxins have different biological properties. Toxin TbIT-I had almost no activity or pharmacological effects in vertebrate tissues whereas it was lethal to house ¯ies (LD50 80.0 ng/house ¯y). In contrast, Tb2-II was active against both mammals (intracerebroventricular ...

  15. Guidebook for non-lethal experimentation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paulissen, J.J.M.; Rahimi, R.

    2011-01-01

    In the 2009-2011 timeframe, NATO conducts a capability based assessment of Non-Lethal Weapon (NLW) systems. The work, performed by the RTO study team SAS-078, involves the development of NLW requirement descriptions, which are put against a set of NLW systems. Gaps are likely to occur, indicating th

  16. The cytolethal distending toxin contributes to microbial virulence and disease pathogenesis by acting as a tri-perditious toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika D Scuron

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This review summarizes the current status and recent advances in our understanding of the role that the cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt plays as a virulence factor in promoting disease by toxin-producing pathogens. A major focus of this review is on the relationship between structure and function of the individual subunits that comprise the AB2 Cdt holotoxin. In particular, we concentrate on the molecular mechanisms that characterize this toxin and which account for the ability of Cdt to intoxicate multiple cell types by utilizing a ubiquitous binding partner on the cell membrane. Furthermore, we propose a paradigm shift for the molecular mode of action by which the active Cdt subunit, CdtB, is able to block a key signaling cascade and thereby lead to outcomes based upon programming and the role of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K in a variety of cells. Based upon the collective Cdt literature, we now propose that Cdt is a unique and potent virulence factor capable of acting as a tri-perditious toxin that impairs host defenses by: 1 disrupting epithelial barriers; 2 suppressing acquired immunity; 3 promoting pro-inflammatory responses. Thus Cdt plays a key role in facilitating the early stages of infection and the later stages of disease progression by contributing to persistence and impairing host elimination.

  17. Alcohol disrupts sleep homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakkar, Mahesh M; Sharma, Rishi; Sahota, Pradeep

    2015-06-01

    Alcohol is a potent somnogen and one of the most commonly used "over the counter" sleep aids. In healthy non-alcoholics, acute alcohol decreases sleep latency, consolidates and increases the quality (delta power) and quantity of NREM sleep during the first half of the night. However, sleep is disrupted during the second half. Alcoholics, both during drinking periods and during abstinences, suffer from a multitude of sleep disruptions manifested by profound insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and altered sleep architecture. Furthermore, subjective and objective indicators of sleep disturbances are predictors of relapse. Finally, within the USA, it is estimated that societal costs of alcohol-related sleep disorders exceeds $18 billion. Thus, although alcohol-associated sleep problems have significant economic and clinical consequences, very little is known about how and where alcohol acts to affect sleep. In this review, we have described our attempts to unravel the mechanism of alcohol-induced sleep disruptions. We have conducted a series of experiments using two different species, rats and mice, as animal models. We performed microdialysis, immunohistochemical, pharmacological, sleep deprivation and lesion studies which suggest that the sleep-promoting effects of alcohol may be mediated via alcohol's action on the mediators of sleep homeostasis: adenosine (AD) and the wake-promoting cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain (BF). Alcohol, via its action on AD uptake, increases extracellular AD resulting in the inhibition of BF wake-promoting neurons. Since binge alcohol consumption is a highly prevalent pattern of alcohol consumption and disrupts sleep, we examined the effects of binge drinking on sleep-wakefulness. Our results suggest that disrupted sleep homeostasis may be the primary cause of sleep disruption observed following binge drinking. Finally, we have also shown that sleep disruptions observed during acute withdrawal, are caused due to impaired

  18. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  19. Cholesterol Metabolism and Prostate Cancer Lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stopsack, Konrad H; Gerke, Travis A; Sinnott, Jennifer A; Penney, Kathryn L; Tyekucheva, Svitlana; Sesso, Howard D; Andersson, Swen-Olof; Andrén, Ove; Cerhan, James R; Giovannucci, Edward L; Mucci, Lorelei A; Rider, Jennifer R

    2016-08-15

    Cholesterol metabolism has been implicated in prostate cancer pathogenesis. Here, we assessed the association of intratumoral mRNA expression of cholesterol synthesis enzymes, transporters, and regulators in tumor specimen at diagnosis and lethal prostate cancer, defined as mortality or metastases from prostate cancer in contrast to nonlethal disease without evidence of metastases after at least 8 years of follow-up. We analyzed the prospective prostate cancer cohorts within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n = 249) and the Physicians' Health Study (n = 153) as well as expectantly managed patients in the Swedish Watchful Waiting Study (n = 338). The expression of squalene monooxygenase (SQLE) was associated with lethal cancer in all three cohorts. Men with high SQLE expression (>1 standard deviation above the mean) were 8.3 times (95% confidence interval, 3.5 to 19.7) more likely to have lethal cancer despite therapy compared with men with the mean level of SQLE expression. Absolute SQLE expression was associated with lethal cancer independently from Gleason grade and stage, as was a SQLE expression ratio in tumor versus surrounding benign prostate tissue. Higher SQLE expression was tightly associated with increased histologic markers of angiogenesis. Collectively, this study establishes the prognostic value of intratumoral cholesterol synthesis as measured via SQLE, its second rate-limiting enzyme. SQLE expression at cancer diagnosis is prognostic for lethal prostate cancer both after curative-intent prostatectomy and in a watchful waiting setting, possibly by facilitating micrometastatic disease. Cancer Res; 76(16); 4785-90. ©2016 AACR.

  20. Confronting the disruptive physician.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linney, B J

    1997-01-01

    Ignoring disruptive behavior is no longer an option in today's changing health care environment. Competition and managed care have caused more organizations to deal with the disruptive physician, rather than look the other way as many did in years past. But it's not an easy task, possibly the toughest of your management career. How should you confront a disruptive physician? By having clearly stated expectations for physician behavior and policies in place for dealing with problem physicians, organizations have a context from which to address the situation.

  1. Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Allen; Youngster, Ilan; McAdam, Alexander J

    2015-06-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is among the common causes of foodborne gastroenteritis. STEC is defined by the production of specific toxins, but within this pathotype there is a diverse group of organisms. This diversity has important consequences for understanding the pathogenesis of the organism, as well as for selecting the optimum strategy for diagnostic testing in the clinical laboratory. This review includes discussions of the mechanisms of pathogenesis, the range of manifestations of infection, and the several different methods of laboratory detection of Shiga toxin-producing E coli.

  2. 抗炭疽毒素的小分子药物研究进展%Recent advances in development of small molecule inhibitors of anthrax toxin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘家阔; 顾为; 聂爱华

    2011-01-01

    炭疽是由炭疽芽孢杆菌引起的一种人畜共患烈性传染病.炭疽菌主要通过释放炭疽毒素使宿主致病.炭疽毒素包括致死毒素和水肿毒素,这两种毒素是使炭疽感染者死亡的主要因素.该文综述了抗炭疽毒素小分子药物的研究进展.%Anthrax is a severe epidemic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, and acts mainly by releasing anthrax toxin that consists of two toxins, lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are the primary factors of death. In this review the recent advances in the development of small molecule inhibitors of anthrax toxin are discussed.

  3. The scorpion toxin Bot IX is a potent member of the α-like family and has a unique N-terminal sequence extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Salvatierra, Juan; Bosmans, Frank; Bougis, Pierre E

    2016-09-01

    We report the detailed chemical, immunological and pharmacological characterization of the α-toxin Bot IX from the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom. Bot IX, which consists of 70 amino acids, is a highly atypical toxin. It carries a unique N-terminal sequence extension and is highly lethal in mice. Voltage clamp recordings on oocytes expressing rat Nav1.2 or insect BgNav1 reveal that, similar to other α-like toxins, Bot IX inhibits fast inactivation of both variants. Moreover, Bot IX belongs to the same structural/immunological group as the α-like toxin Bot I. Remarkably, radioiodinated Bot IX competes efficiently with the classical α-toxin AaH II from Androctonus australis, and displays one of the highest affinities for Nav channels.

  4. Epsilon toxin: a fascinating pore-forming toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, Michel R

    2011-12-01

    Epsilon toxin (ETX) is produced by strains of Clostridium perfringens classified as type B or type D. ETX belongs to the heptameric β-pore-forming toxins including aerolysin and Clostridium septicum alpha toxin, which are characterized by the formation of a pore through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells consisting in a β-barrel of 14 amphipatic β strands. By contrast to aerolysin and C. septicum alpha toxin, ETX is a much more potent toxin and is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep. ETX induces perivascular edema in various tissues and accumulates in particular in the kidneys and brain, where it causes edema and necrotic lesions. ETX is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the release of glutamate, which accounts for the symptoms of nervous excitation observed in animal enterotoxemia. At the cellular level, ETX causes rapid swelling followed by cell death involving necrosis. The precise mode of action of ETX remains to be determined. ETX is a powerful toxin, however, it also represents a unique tool with which to vehicle drugs into the central nervous system or target glutamatergic neurons.

  5. Search and Disrupt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørding Olsen, Anders

    This paper analyzes how external search is affected by strategic interest alignment among knowledge sources. I focus on misalignment arising from the heterogeneous effects of disruptive technologies by analyzing the influence of incumbents on 2,855 non-incumbents? external knowledge search efforts....... The efforts most likely to solve innovation problems obtained funding from the European Commission?s 7th Framework Program (2007-2013). The results show that involving incumbents improves search in complementary technologies, while demoting it when strategic interests are misaligned in disruptive technologies....... However, incumbent sources engaged in capability reconfiguration to accommodate disruption improve search efforts in disruptive technologies. The paper concludes that the value of external sources is contingent on more than their knowledge. Specifically, interdependence of sources in search gives rise...

  6. Search and Disrupt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørding Olsen, Anders

    This paper analyzes how external search is affected by strategic interest alignment among knowledge sources. I focus on misalignment arising from the heterogeneous effects of disruptive technologies by analyzing the influence of incumbents on 2,855 non-incumbents? external knowledge search efforts....... The efforts most likely to solve innovation problems obtained funding from the European Commission?s 7th Framework Program (2007-2013). The results show that involving incumbents improves search in complementary technologies, while demoting it when strategic interests are misaligned in disruptive technologies....... However, incumbent sources engaged in capability reconfiguration to accommodate disruption improve search efforts in disruptive technologies. The paper concludes that the value of external sources is contingent on more than their knowledge. Specifically, interdependence of sources in search gives rise...

  7. Bacterial Toxins for Cancer Therapy

    OpenAIRE

    Zahaf, Nour-Imene; Schmidt, Gudula

    2017-01-01

    Several pathogenic bacteria secrete toxins to inhibit the immune system of the infected organism. Frequently, they catalyze a covalent modification of specific proteins. Thereby, they block production and/or secretion of antibodies or cytokines. Moreover, they disable migration of macrophages and disturb the barrier function of epithelia. In most cases, these toxins are extremely effective enzymes with high specificity towards their cellular substrates, which are often central signaling molec...

  8. Characterization of adenylate cyclase toxin from a mutant of Bordetella pertussis defective in the activator gene, cyaC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewlett, E L; Gray, M C; Ehrmann, I E; Maloney, N J; Otero, A S; Gray, L; Allietta, M; Szabo, G; Weiss, A A; Barry, E M

    1993-04-15

    which is able to bind to target cells but unable to elicit cAMP accumulation. In that AC toxin from BPDE386 is able to function normally when injected artificially to an intracellular site, we conclude that the disruption of cyaC produces a defect in insertion and transmembrane delivery of the catalytic domain.

  9. Keeping the wolves at bay: antitoxins of prokaryotic type II toxin-antitoxin systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wai Ting eChan

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In their initial stages of discovery, prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin (TA systems were confined to bacterial plasmids where they function to mediate the maintenance and stability of usually low- to medium-copy number plasmids through the post-segregational killing of any plasmid-free daughter cells that developed. Their eventual discovery as nearly ubiquitous and repetitive elements in bacterial chromosomes led to a wealth of knowledge and scientific debate as to their diversity and functionality in the prokaryotic lifestyle. Currently categorized into six different types designated types I – VI, type II TA systems are the best characterized. These generally comprised of two genes encoding a proteic toxin and its corresponding proteic antitoxin, respectively. Under normal growth conditions, the stable toxin is prevented from exerting its lethal effect through tight binding with the less stable antitoxin partner, forming a non-lethal TA protein complex. Besides binding with its cognate toxin, the antitoxin also plays a role in regulating the expression of the type II TA operon by binding to the operator site, thereby repressing transcription from the TA promoter. In most cases, full repression is observed in the presence of the TA complex as binding of the toxin enhances the DNA binding capability of the antitoxin. TA systems have been implicated in a gamut of prokaryotic cellular functions such as being mediators of programmed cell death as well as persistence or dormancy, biofilm formation, as defensive weapons against bacteriophage infections and as virulence factors in pathogenic bacteria. It is thus apparent that these antitoxins, as DNA-binding proteins, play an essential role in modulating the prokaryotic lifestyle whilst at the same time preventing the lethal action of the toxins under normal growth conditions, i.e., keeping the proverbial wolves at bay. In this review, we will cover the diversity and characteristics of various type II TA

  10. Mining of lethal recessive genetic variation in Danish cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Das, Ashutosh

    2015-01-01

    in fertility. The primary objective of this PhD projekt was to identify recessive lethal gentic variants in the main Danish dairy cattle breed. Holstein-Friesian utilzing next generation sequencing (NGS) data. This study shows a potential for the use of the NGS-based reverse genetic approach in identifying...... lethal or semi-lethal recessive gentic variation...

  11. Screening the budding yeast genome reveals unique factors affecting K2 toxin susceptibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Servienė

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Understanding how biotoxins kill cells is of prime importance in biomedicine and the food industry. The budding yeast (S. cerevisiae killers serve as a convenient model to study the activity of biotoxins consistently supplying with significant insights into the basic mechanisms of virus-host cell interactions and toxin entry into eukaryotic target cells. K1 and K2 toxins are active at the cell wall, leading to the disruption of the plasma membrane and subsequent cell death by ion leakage. K28 toxin is active in the cell nucleus, blocking DNA synthesis and cell cycle progression, thereby triggering apoptosis. Genome-wide screens in the budding yeast S. cerevisiae identified several hundred effectors of K1 and K28 toxins. Surprisingly, no such screen had been performed for K2 toxin, the most frequent killer toxin among industrial budding yeasts. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted several concurrent genome-wide screens in S. cerevisiae and identified 332 novel K2 toxin effectors. The effectors involved in K2 resistance and hypersensitivity largely map in distinct cellular pathways, including cell wall and plasma membrane structure/biogenesis and mitochondrial function for K2 resistance, and cell wall stress signaling and ion/pH homeostasis for K2 hypersensitivity. 70% of K2 effectors are different from those involved in K1 or K28 susceptibility. SIGNIFICANCE: Our work demonstrates that despite the fact that K1 and K2 toxins share some aspects of their killing strategies, they largely rely on different sets of effectors. Since the vast majority of the host factors identified here is exclusively active towards K2, we conclude that cells have acquired a specific K2 toxin effectors set. Our work thus indicates that K1 and K2 have elaborated different biological pathways and provides a first step towards the detailed characterization of K2 mode of action.

  12. Lethal midline granuloma syndrome: a diagnostic dilemma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, Bruno Niemeyer de Freitas; Bahia, Paulo Roberto Valle [Radiology, Hospital Universitario Clementino Fraga Filho - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (HUCFF-UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Oliveira, Ana Luiza Vianna Sobral de Magalhaes [Resident of Medical Practice, Hospital Federal da Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Marchon Junior, Joao Luiz [Unit of Computed Tomography, Hospital Federal da Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2012-11-15

    The rare lethal midline granuloma syndrome is difficult to diagnose because of the wide array of related diseases and lack of knowledge by the majority of physicians. In the present report, the authors describe the case of a patient with this disease, caused by squamous cell carcinoma, drawing attention to differential diagnoses and to clinical and radiological findings that may be useful to define the diagnosis. (author)

  13. Brine shrimp lethality assay of Bacopa monnieri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Prashanth; Deepak, Mundkinajeddu; Rani, Padmaja; Kadamboor, Sandhya; Mathew, Anjana; Chandrashekar, Arun P; Agarwal, Amit

    2002-03-01

    Successive petroleum ether, chloroform, ethanol and water extracts, a saponin rich fraction (SRF) and bacoside A isolated from Bacopa monnieri were tested for brine shrimp lethality. Successive ethanol extracts and SRF showed potent activity. Bacoside A showed the maximum activity with a LC(50) of 38.3 microg/mL. The results confirmed the previous reports of an anticancer effect of Bacopa monnieri and suggest bacoside A as the active constituent.

  14. Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene

    OpenAIRE

    Nohemi Sala; Juan Luis Arsuaga; Ana Pantoja-Pérez; Adrián Pablos; Ignacio Martínez; Quam, Rolf M.; Asier Gómez-Olivencia; José María Bermúdez de Castro; Eudald Carbonell

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force ...

  15. Lethality in Desbuquois dysplasia: three new cases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hall, B.D. [Department of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington (United States)

    2001-01-01

    Three new cases of Desbuquois syndrome in two brothers and a sporadic male, all of whom died in early infancy, are presented to emphasize the high rate (33 %) of lethality in this variable, but serious skeletal dysplasia. Including the three presented patients and 10 of the 36 cases in the literature who died, most did so between birth and 7 months and from respiratory-related problems. Neonatal and infancy survivors should be monitored closely, particularly relative to their pulmonary status. (orig.)

  16. A novel ICK mutation causes ciliary disruption and lethal endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Kayserili Karabey, Hülya; Oud, M.M.; Bonnard, C.; Mans, D.A.; Altunoğlu, U.; Tohari, S.; Ng, A.Y.J.; Eskin, A.; Lee, H.; Rupar, C.A.; Wagenaar, N.P.; Wu, K.M.; Lahiry, P.; Pazour, G.J.; Nelson, S.F.; Hegele, R.A.; Roepman, R; Venkatesh, B.; Siu, V.M.; Reversade, B.; Arts, H.H.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia (ECO) syndrome [MIM:612651] caused by a recessive mutation (p.R272Q) in Intestinal cell kinase (ICK) shows significant clinical overlap with ciliary disorders. Similarities are strongest between ECO syndrome, the Majewski and Mohr-Majewski short-rib thoracic dysplasia (SRTD) with polydactyly syndromes, and hydrolethalus syndrome. In this study, we present a novel homozygous ICK mutation in a fetus with ECO syndrome and compare the effect of this mu...

  17. A novel ICK mutation causes ciliary disruption and lethal endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oud, M.M.; Bonnard, C.; Mans, D.A.; Altunoglu, U.; Tohari, S.; Ng, A.Y.; Eskin, A.; Lee, H.; Rupar, C.A.; Wagenaar, N.P. de; Wu, K.M.; Lahiry, P.; Pazour, G.J.; Nelson, S.F.; Hegele, R.A.; Roepman, R.; Kayserili, H.; Venkatesh, B.; Siu, V.M.; Reversade, B.; Arts, H.H.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia (ECO) syndrome [MIM:612651] caused by a recessive mutation (p.R272Q) in Intestinal cell kinase (ICK) shows significant clinical overlap with ciliary disorders. Similarities are strongest between ECO syndrome, the Majewski and Mohr-Majewski short-rib

  18. A novel ICK mutation causes ciliary disruption and lethal endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oud, M.M.; Bonnard, C.; Mans, D.A.; Altunoglu, U.; Tohari, S.; Ng, A.Y.; Eskin, A.; Lee, H.; Rupar, C.A.; Wagenaar, N.P. de; Wu, K.M.; Lahiry, P.; Pazour, G.J.; Nelson, S.F.; Hegele, R.A.; Roepman, R.; Kayserili, H.; Venkatesh, B.; Siu, V.M.; Reversade, B.; Arts, H.H.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia (ECO) syndrome [MIM:612651] caused by a recessive mutation (p.R272Q) in Intestinal cell kinase (ICK) shows significant clinical overlap with ciliary disorders. Similarities are strongest between ECO syndrome, the Majewski and Mohr-Majewski short-rib thora

  19. Mutation of C20orf7 Disrupts Complex I Assembly and Causes Lethal Neonatal Mitochondrial Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sugiana, Canny; Pagliarini, David J.; McKenzie, Matthew; Kirby, Denise M.; Salemi, Renato; Abu-Amero, Khaled K.; Dahl, Hans-Henrik M.; Hutchison, Wendy M.; Vascotto, Katherine A.; Smith, Stacey M.; Newbold, Robert F.; Christodoulou, John; Calvo, Sarah; Mootha, Vamsi K.; Ryan, Michael T.; Thorburn, David R.

    2008-01-01

    Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) is the first and largest multimeric complex of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Human complex I comprises seven Subunits encoded by mitochondrial DNA and 38 nuclear-encoded subunits that are assembled together in a process that is only partially

  20. Complement component 5 promotes lethal thrombosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuno, Tomohiro; Yoshioka, Kengo; Mizuno, Masashi; Shimizu, Mie; Nagano, Fumihiko; Okuda, Tomoyuki; Tsuboi, Naotake; Maruyama, Shoichi; Nagamatsu, Tadashi; Imai, Masaki

    2017-01-01

    Extracellular histones promote platelet aggregation and thrombosis; this is followed by induction of coagulation disorder, which results in exhaustion of coagulation factors. Complement component 5 (C5) is known to be associated with platelet aggregation and coagulation system activation. To date, the pathological mechanism underlying liver injury has remained unclear. Here, we investigated whether C5 promotes liver injury associated with histone-induced lethal thrombosis. C5-sufficient and C5-deficient mice received single tail vein injections of purified, unfractionated histones obtained from calf thymus (45–75 μg/g). Subsequently, the mice were monitored for survival for up to 72 h. Based on the survival data, the 45 μg/g dose was used for analysis of blood cell count, liver function, blood coagulation ability, and promotion of platelet aggregation and platelet/leukocyte aggregate (PLA) production by extracellular histones. C5-deficient mice were protected from lethal thrombosis and had milder thrombocytopenia, consumptive coagulopathy, and liver injury with embolism and lower PLA production than C5-sufficient mice. These results indicate that C5 is associated with coagulation disorders, PLA production, and embolism-induced liver injury. In conclusion, C5 promotes liver injury associated with histone-induced lethal thrombosis. PMID:28205538

  1. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  2. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nohemi Sala

    Full Text Available Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  3. Antibody-based biological toxin detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menking, D.E.; Goode, M.T. [Army Edgewood Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Fiber optic evanescent fluorosensors are under investigation in our laboratory for the study of drug-receptor interactions for detection of threat agents and antibody-antigen interactions for detection of biological toxins. In a direct competition assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin, Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B or ricin were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) - labeled toxins. In the indirect competition assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified anti-toxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or anti-toxin IgG in a dose dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  4. Amino acid sequence of versutoxin, a lethal neurotoxin from the venom of the funnel-web spider Atrax versutus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M R; Sheumack, D D; Tyler, M I; Howden, M E

    1988-03-01

    The complete amino acid sequence of versutoxin, a lethal neurotoxic polypeptide isolated from the venom of male and female funnel-web spiders of the species Atrax versutus, was determined. Sequencing was performed in a gas-phase protein sequencer by automated Edman degradation of the S-carboxymethylated toxin and fragments of it produced by reaction with CNBr. Versutoxin consisted of a single chain of 42 amino acid residues. It was found to have a high proportion of basic residues and of cystine. The primary structure showed marked homology with that of robustoxin, a novel neurotoxin recently isolated from the venom of another funnel-web-spider species, Atrax robustus.

  5. Coenzyme depletion by members of the aerolysin family of pore-forming toxins leads to diminished ATP levels and cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennessey, Christine M; Ivie, Susan E; McClain, Mark S

    2012-08-01

    Recent studies demonstrated that a variety of bacterial pore-forming toxins induce cell death through a process of programmed necrosis characterized by the rapid depletion of cellular ATP. However, events leading to the necrosis and depletion of ATP are not thoroughly understood. We demonstrate that ATP-depletion induced by two pore-forming toxins, the Clostridium perfringens epsilon-toxin and the Aeromonas hydrophila aerolysin toxin, is associated with decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. To gain further insight into the toxin-induced metabolic changes contributing to necrosis and depletion of ATP, we analyzed the biochemical profiles of 251 distinct compounds by GC/MS or LC/MS/MS following exposure of a human kidney cell line to the epsilon-toxin. As expected, numerous biochemicals were seen to increase or decrease in response to epsilon-toxin. However, the pattern of these changes was consistent with the toxin-induced disruption of major energy-producing pathways in the cell including disruptions to the beta-oxidation of lipids. In particular, treatment with epsilon-toxin led to decreased levels of key coenzymes required for energy production including carnitine, NAD (and NADH), and coenzyme A. Independent biochemical assays confirmed that epsilon-toxin and aerolysin induced the rapid decrease of these coenzymes or their synthetic precursors. Incubation of cells with NADH or carnitine-enriched medium helped protect cells from toxin-induced ATP depletion and cell death. Collectively, these results demonstrate that members of the aerolysin family of pore-forming toxins lead to decreased levels of essential coenzymes required for energy production. The resulting loss of energy substrates is expected to contribute to dissipation of the mitochondrial membrane potential, opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, and ultimately cell death.

  6. Targeted toxins in brain tumor therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yan Michael; Hall, Walter A

    2010-11-01

    Targeted toxins, also known as immunotoxins or cytotoxins, are recombinant molecules that specifically bind to cell surface receptors that are overexpressed in cancer and the toxin component kills the cell. These recombinant proteins consist of a specific antibody or ligand coupled to a protein toxin. The targeted toxins bind to a surface antigen or receptor overexpressed in tumors, such as the epidermal growth factor receptor or interleukin-13 receptor. The toxin part of the molecule in all clinically used toxins is modified from bacterial or plant toxins, fused to an antibody or carrier ligand. Targeted toxins are very effective against cancer cells resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. They are far more potent than any known chemotherapy drug. Targeted toxins have shown an acceptable profile of toxicity and safety in early clinical studies and have demonstrated evidence of a tumor response. Currently, clinical trials with some targeted toxins are complete and the final results are pending. This review summarizes the characteristics of targeted toxins and the key findings of the important clinical studies with targeted toxins in malignant brain tumor patients. Obstacles to successful treatment of malignant brain tumors include poor penetration into tumor masses, the immune response to the toxin component and cancer heterogeneity. Strategies to overcome these limitations are being pursued in the current generation of targeted toxins.

  7. Targeted Toxins in Brain Tumor Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter A. Hall

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Targeted toxins, also known as immunotoxins or cytotoxins, are recombinant molecules that specifically bind to cell surface receptors that are overexpressed in cancer and the toxin component kills the cell. These recombinant proteins consist of a specific antibody or ligand coupled to a protein toxin. The targeted toxins bind to a surface antigen or receptor overexpressed in tumors, such as the epidermal growth factor receptor or interleukin-13 receptor. The toxin part of the molecule in all clinically used toxins is modified from bacterial or plant toxins, fused to an antibody or carrier ligand. Targeted toxins are very effective against cancer cells resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. They are far more potent than any known chemotherapy drug. Targeted toxins have shown an acceptable profile of toxicity and safety in early clinical studies and have demonstrated evidence of a tumor response. Currently, clinical trials with some targeted toxins are complete and the final results are pending. This review summarizes the characteristics of targeted toxins and the key findings of the important clinical studies with targeted toxins in malignant brain tumor patients. Obstacles to successful treatment of malignant brain tumors include poor penetration into tumor masses, the immune response to the toxin component and cancer heterogeneity. Strategies to overcome these limitations are being pursued in the current generation of targeted toxins.

  8. Active Shiga-like toxin produced by some Aeromonas spp., isolated in Mexico City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Palma-Martínez

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Shiga-like toxins (Stx represent a group of bacterial toxins involved in human and animal diseases. Stx is produced by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae type 1, Citrobacter freundii and Aeromonas spp. Stx is an important cause of bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS. The aim of this study was to identify the stx1/stx2 genes in clinical strains and in outer membrane vesicles (OMVs of Aeromonas spp., 66 strains were isolated from children who live in Mexico City and Shiga-like toxins effects were evaluated on Vero cell cultures.The capacity to express active, Stx1 and Stx2 toxins was determined on Vero cell cultures and the concentration of Shiga-like toxins was evaluated by lethal dose to 50% (LD50 assays, observing inhibition of damaged cells by specific monoclonal antibodies. The results obtained in this study support the hypothesis that the stx gene is another putative virulence factor of Aeromonas, and since this gene can be transferred horizontally through OMVs this genus should be included as a possible causal agents of gastroenteritis and it should be reported as part of standard health surveillance procedures.Furthermore, these results indicate that Aeromonas genus might be a potential causative agent of HUS.

  9. Scorpion toxins prefer salt solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikouee, Azadeh; Khabiri, Morteza; Cwiklik, Lukasz

    2015-11-01

    There is a wide variety of ion channel types with various types of blockers, making research in this field very complicated. To reduce this complexity, it is essential to study ion channels and their blockers independently. Scorpion toxins, a major class of blockers, are charged short peptides with high affinities for potassium channels. Their high selectivity and inhibitory properties make them an important pharmacological tool for treating autoimmune or nervous system disorders. Scorpion toxins typically have highly charged surfaces and-like other proteins-an intrinsic ability to bind ions (Friedman J Phys Chem B 115(29):9213-9223, 1996; Baldwin Biophys J 71(4):2056-2063, 1996; Vrbka et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103(42):15440-15444, 2006a; Vrbka et al. J Phys Chem B 110(13):7036-43, 2006b). Thus, their effects on potassium channels are usually investigated in various ionic solutions. In this work, computer simulations of protein structures were performed to analyze the structural properties of the key residues (i.e., those that are presumably involved in contact with the surfaces of the ion channels) of 12 scorpion toxins. The presence of the two most physiologically abundant cations, Na(+) and K(+), was considered. The results indicated that the ion-binding properties of the toxin residues vary. Overall, all of the investigated toxins had more stable structures in ionic solutions than in water. We found that both the number and length of elements in the secondary structure varied depending on the ionic solution used (i.e., in the presence of NaCl or KCl). This study revealed that the ionic solution should be chosen carefully before performing experiments on these toxins. Similarly, the influence of these ions should be taken into consideration in the design of toxin-based pharmaceuticals.

  10. Role of UPR Pathway in Defense Response of Aedes aegypti against Cry11Aa Toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Bravo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The insecticidal Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins produced by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis that disrupt insect-midgut cells. Cells can trigger different survival mechanisms to counteract the effects of sub-lytic doses of pore forming toxins. Particularly, two signaling pathways have been demonstrated to play a role in the defense mechanism to other toxins in Caenorhabditis elegans and in mammalian cells. These are the unfolded protein response (UPR and the sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBP pathways, which are proposed to facilitate membrane repair responses. In this work we analyzed the role of these pathways in Aedes aegypti response to intoxication with Cry11Aa toxin. We show that UPR is activated upon toxin ingestion. The role of these two pathways was analyzed in vivo by using RNA interference. We silenced the expression of specific proteins in A. aegypti larvae. Gene silencing of Ire-1 and Xbp-1 proteins from UPR system, resulted in hypersensitive to Cry11Aa toxin action. In contrast, silencing of Cas-1, Scap and S2P from SREBP pathway had no affect on Cry11Aa toxicity in A. aegypti larvae. However, the role of SREBP pathway requires further studies to be conclusive. Our data indicate that the UPR pathway is involved in the insect defense against Cry toxins.

  11. Bt toxin modification for enhanced efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deist, Benjamin R; Rausch, Michael A; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J; Bonning, Bryony C

    2014-10-22

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance.

  12. Non-lethal effects of an invasive species in the marine environment: the importance of early life-history stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rius, Marc; Turon, Xavier; Marshall, Dustin J

    2009-04-01

    Studies examining the effects of invasive species have focussed traditionally on the direct/lethal effects of the invasive on the native community but there is a growing recognition that invasive species may also have non-lethal effects. In terrestrial systems, non-lethal effects of invasive species can disrupt early life-history phases (such as fertilisation, dispersal and subsequent establishment) of native species, but in the marine environment most studies focus on adult rather than early life-history stages. Here, we examine the potential for an introduced sessile marine invertebrate (Styela plicata) to exert both lethal and non-lethal effects on a native species (Microcosmus squamiger) across multiple early life-history stages. We determined whether sperm from the invasive species interfered with the fertilisation of eggs from the native species and found no effect. However, we did find strong effects of the invasive species on the post-fertilisation performance of the native species. The invasive species inhibited the settlement of native larvae and, in the field, the presence of the invasive species was associated with a ten-fold increase in the post-settlement mortality of the native species, as well as an initial reduction of growth in the native. Our results suggest that larvae of the native species avoid settling near the invasive species due to reduced post-settlement survival in its presence. Overall, we found that invasive species can have complex and pervasive effects (both lethal and non-lethal) across the early life-history stages of the native species, which are likely to result in its displacement and to facilitate further invasion.

  13. Endocrine disrupting chemicals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mandrup, Karen

    BACKGROUND: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may contribute to reproductive changes in boys in the Western world, however, less is known about influence of EDCs in women. The incidence of precocious breast development is increasing in USA and Europe and mammary gland development has been...... suggested as particularly sensitive to endocrine disruption. Mammary gland examination in toxicological studies may be useful for improving knowledge on possible influences of EDCs on human mammary glands and also be useful for detection of endocrine disrupting effects of chemicals as part of safety testing...... and genistein, a mixture of phytoestrogens, and a mixture of environmentally relevant estrogenic EDCs of various origins. Moreover, mixtures of antiandrogenic chemicals were investigated. These include a mixture of pesticides and a mixture of environmentally relevant anti-androgenic EDCs of various origins...

  14. The disruption management model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAlister, James

    2011-10-01

    Within all organisations, business continuity disruptions present a set of dilemmas that managers may not have dealt with before in their normal daily duties. The disruption management model provides a simple but effective management tool to enable crisis management teams to stay focused on recovery in the midst of a business continuity incident. The model has four chronological primary headlines, which steer the team through a quick-time crisis decision-making process. The procedure facilitates timely, systematic, rationalised and justified decisions, which can withstand post-event scrutiny. The disruption management model has been thoroughly tested within an emergency services environment and is proven to significantly support clear and concise decision making in a business continuity context.

  15. Search and Disrupt

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørding Olsen, Anders

    Extant research on external knowledge search and open innovation assumes that collaborators are aligned in their strategic interests towards solving innovation problems. However, disruptive innovation is known to threaten the competitive advantage of incumbent firms, thereby creating a potential...... conflict of interest between these firms and their collaborators. This paper explores the extent to which strategic interests influence joint problem solving in both complementary and disruptive technologies by analyzing the effects of incumbent collaboration. The analysis disentangles inability...... and strategic intent to find that non-incumbents experience suppression of problem solving likelihood within disruptive technologies when incumbent collaborators are not strategically committed. The paper contributes to extant theory by showing the influence of firms’ underlying strategic interests...

  16. Emerging and Disruptive Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Several emerging or disruptive technologies can be identified that might, at some point in the future, displace established laboratory medicine technologies and practices. These include increased automation in the form of robots, 3-D printing, technology convergence (e.g., plug-in glucose meters for smart phones), new point-of-care technologies (e.g., contact lenses with sensors, digital and wireless enabled pregnancy tests) and testing locations (e.g., Retail Health Clinics, new at-home testing formats), new types of specimens (e.g., cell free DNA), big biology/data (e.g., million genome projects), and new regulations (e.g., for laboratory developed tests). In addition, there are many emerging technologies (e.g., planar arrays, mass spectrometry) that might find even broader application in the future and therefore also disrupt current practice. One interesting source of disruptive technology may prove to be the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize, currently in its final stages. PMID:27683538

  17. Changing circumstances, disrupting habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Wendy; Witt, Melissa Guerrero; Tam, Leona

    2005-06-01

    The present research investigated the mechanisms guiding habitual behavior, specifically, the stimulus cues that trigger habit performance. When usual contexts for performance change, habits cannot be cued by recurring stimuli, and performance should be disrupted. Thus, the exercising, newspaper reading, and TV watching habits of students transferring to a new university were found to survive the transfer only when aspects of the performance context did not change (e.g., participants continued to read the paper with others). In some cases, the disruption in habits also placed behavior under intentional control so that participants acted on their current intentions. Changes in circumstances also affected the favorability of intentions, but changes in intentions alone could not explain the disruption of habits. Furthermore, regardless of whether contexts changed, nonhabitual behavior was guided by intentions.

  18. Emerging and Disruptive Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kricka, Larry J

    2016-08-01

    Several emerging or disruptive technologies can be identified that might, at some point in the future, displace established laboratory medicine technologies and practices. These include increased automation in the form of robots, 3-D printing, technology convergence (e.g., plug-in glucose meters for smart phones), new point-of-care technologies (e.g., contact lenses with sensors, digital and wireless enabled pregnancy tests) and testing locations (e.g., Retail Health Clinics, new at-home testing formats), new types of specimens (e.g., cell free DNA), big biology/data (e.g., million genome projects), and new regulations (e.g., for laboratory developed tests). In addition, there are many emerging technologies (e.g., planar arrays, mass spectrometry) that might find even broader application in the future and therefore also disrupt current practice. One interesting source of disruptive technology may prove to be the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize, currently in its final stages.

  19. Interruptions disrupt reading comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foroughi, Cyrus K; Werner, Nicole E; Barragán, Daniela; Boehm-Davis, Deborah A

    2015-06-01

    Previous research suggests that being interrupted while reading a text does not disrupt the later recognition or recall of information from that text. This research is used as support for Ericsson and Kintsch's (1995) long-term working memory (LT-WM) theory, which posits that disruptions while reading (e.g., interruptions) do not impair subsequent text comprehension. However, to fully comprehend a text, individuals may need to do more than recognize or recall information that has been presented in the text at a later time. Reading comprehension often requires individuals to connect and synthesize information across a text (e.g., successfully identifying complex topics such as themes and tones) and not just make a familiarity-based decision (i.e., recognition). The goal for this study was to determine whether interruptions while reading disrupt reading comprehension when the questions assessing comprehension require participants to connect and synthesize information across the passage. In Experiment 1, interruptions disrupted reading comprehension. In Experiment 2, interruptions disrupted reading comprehension but not recognition of information from the text. In Experiment 3, the addition of a 15-s time-out prior to the interruption successfully removed these negative effects. These data suggest that the time it takes to process the information needed to successfully comprehend text when reading is greater than that required for recognition. Any interference (e.g., an interruption) that occurs during the comprehension process may disrupt reading comprehension. This evidence supports the need for transient activation of information in working memory for successful text comprehension and does not support LT-WM theory. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. A Polychaete’s Powerful Punch: Venom Gland Transcriptomics of Glycera Reveals a Complex Cocktail of Toxin Homologs

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M.; Richter, Sandy; Hering, Lars; Sykes, Dan; Hetmank, Jörg; Jenner, Ronald A.; Bleidorn, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    Glycerids are marine annelids commonly known as bloodworms. Bloodworms have an eversible proboscis adorned with jaws connected to venom glands. Bloodworms prey on invertebrates, and it is known that the venom glands produce compounds that can induce toxic effects in animals. Yet, none of these putative toxins has been characterized on a molecular basis. Here we present the transcriptomic profiles of the venom glands of three species of bloodworm, Glycera dibranchiata, Glycera fallax and Glycera tridactyla, as well as the body tissue of G. tridactyla. The venom glands express a complex mixture of transcripts coding for putative toxin precursors. These transcripts represent 20 known toxin classes that have been convergently recruited into animal venoms, as well as transcripts potentially coding for Glycera-specific toxins. The toxins represent five functional categories: Pore-forming and membrane-disrupting toxins, neurotoxins, protease inhibitors, other enzymes, and CAP domain toxins. Many of the transcripts coding for putative Glycera toxins belong to classes that have been widely recruited into venoms, but some are homologs of toxins previously only known from the venoms of scorpaeniform fish and monotremes (stonustoxin-like toxin), turrid gastropods (turripeptide-like peptides), and sea anemones (gigantoxin I-like neurotoxin). This complex mixture of toxin homologs suggests that bloodworms employ venom while predating on macroscopic prey, casting doubt on the previously widespread opinion that G. dibranchiata is a detritivore. Our results further show that researchers should be aware that different assembly methods, as well as different methods of homology prediction, can influence the transcriptomic profiling of venom glands. PMID:25193302

  1. Bacterial Toxins for Cancer Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahaf, Nour-Imene; Schmidt, Gudula

    2017-07-28

    Several pathogenic bacteria secrete toxins to inhibit the immune system of the infected organism. Frequently, they catalyze a covalent modification of specific proteins. Thereby, they block production and/or secretion of antibodies or cytokines. Moreover, they disable migration of macrophages and disturb the barrier function of epithelia. In most cases, these toxins are extremely effective enzymes with high specificity towards their cellular substrates, which are often central signaling molecules. Moreover, they encompass the capacity to enter mammalian cells and to modify their substrates in the cytosol. A few molecules, at least of some toxins, are sufficient to change the cellular morphology and function of a cell or even kill a cell. Since many of those toxins are well studied concerning molecular mechanisms, cellular receptors, uptake routes, and structures, they are now widely used to analyze or to influence specific signaling pathways of mammalian cells. Here, we review the development of immunotoxins and targeted toxins for the treatment of a disease that is still hard to treat: cancer.

  2. NQO1-Knockout Mice Are Highly Sensitive to Clostridium Difficile Toxin A-Induced Enteritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Seung Taek; Hwang, Jung Hwan; Kim, Dae Hong; Lu, Li Fang; Hong, Ji; Zhang, Peng; Yoon, I Na; Hwang, Jae Sam; Chung, Hyo Kyun; Shong, Minho; Lee, Chul-Ho; Kim, Ho

    2016-08-28

    Clostridium difficile toxin A causes acute gut inflammation in animals and humans. It is known to downregulate the tight junctions between colonic epithelial cells, allowing luminal contents to access body tissues and trigger acute immune responses. However, it is not yet known whether this loss of the barrier function is a critical factor in the progression of toxin A-induced pseudomembranous colitis. We previously showed that NADH:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) KO (knockout) mice spontaneously display weak gut inflammation and a marked loss of colonic epithelial tight junctions. Moreover, NQO1 KO mice exhibited highly increased inflammatory responses compared with NQO1 WT (wild-type) control mice when subjected to DSS-induced experimental colitis. Here, we tested whether toxin A could also trigger more severe inflammatory responses in NQO1 KO mice compared with NQO1 WT mice. Indeed, our results show that C. difficile toxin A-mediated enteritis is significantly enhanced in NQO1 KO mice compared with NQO1 WT mice. The levels of fluid secretion, villus disruption, and epithelial cell apoptosis were also higher in toxin A-treated NQO1 KO mice compared with WT mice. The previous and present results collectively show that NQO1 is involved in the formation of tight junctions in the small intestine, and that defects in NQO1 enhance C. difficile toxin A-induced acute inflammatory responses, presumably via the loss of epithelial cell tight junctions.

  3. Exposure to HT-2 toxin causes oxidative stress induced apoptosis/autophagy in porcine oocytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yue; Han, Jun; Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Tang, Feng; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2016-01-01

    T-2 toxin is a main type A trichothecene mycotoxin which is the most toxic trichothecence. T-2 toxin has posed various toxic effects on human and animals in vigorous cell proliferation tissues like lymphoid, hematopoietic and gastrointestinal tissues, while HT-2 toxin is the major metabolite which is deacetylated by T-2 toxin. In this study, we focused on the toxic effects of HT-2 on porcine oocyte maturation. We treated the porcine oocyte with HT-2 toxin in vitro, and we first found that HT-2 treatment inhibited porcine oocyte polar body extrusion and cumulus cell expansion. We observed the disrupted meiotic spindle morphology after treatment, which might be due to the reduced p-MAPK protein level. Actin distribution was also disturbed, indicating that HT-2 affects cytoskeleton of porcine oocytes. We next explored the causes for the failure of oocyte maturation after HT-2 treatment. We found that HT-2 treated oocytes showed the increased ROS level, which indicated that oxidative stress had occurred. We also detected autophagy as well as early apoptosis in the treatment oocytes. Due to the fact that oxidative stress could induced apoptosis, our results indicated that HT-2 toxin caused oxidative stress induced apoptosis and autophagy, which further affected porcine oocyte maturation. PMID:27658477

  4. Plant compounds enhance the assay sensitivity for detection of active Bacillus cereus toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasooly, Reuven; Hernlem, Bradley; He, Xiaohua; Friedman, Mendel

    2015-03-11

    Bacillus cereus is an important food pathogen, producing emetic and diarrheal syndromes, the latter mediated by enterotoxins. The ability to sensitively trace and identify this active toxin is important for food safety. This study evaluated a nonradioactive, sensitive, in vitro cell-based assay, based on B. cereus toxin inhibition of green fluorescent protein (GFP) synthesis in transduced monkey kidney Vero cells, combined with plant extracts or plant compounds that reduce viable count of B. cereus in food. The assay exhibited a dose dependent GFP inhibition response with ~25% inhibition at 50 ng/mL toxin evaluated in culture media or soy milk, rice milk or infant formula, products associated with food poisonings outbreak. The plant extracts of green tea or bitter almond and the plant compounds epicatechin or carvacrol were found to amplify the assay response to ~90% inhibition at the 50 ng/mL toxin concentration greatly increasing the sensitivity of this assay. Additional studies showed that the test formulations also inhibited the growth of the B. cereus bacteria, likely through cell membrane disruption. The results suggest that the improved highly sensitive assay for the toxin and the rapid inactivation of the pathogen producing the toxin have the potential to enhance food safety.

  5. Plant Compounds Enhance the Assay Sensitivity for Detection of Active Bacillus cereus Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reuven Rasooly

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus cereus is an important food pathogen, producing emetic and diarrheal syndromes, the latter mediated by enterotoxins. The ability to sensitively trace and identify this active toxin is important for food safety. This study evaluated a nonradioactive, sensitive, in vitro cell-based assay, based on B. cereus toxin inhibition of green fluorescent protein (GFP synthesis in transduced monkey kidney Vero cells, combined with plant extracts or plant compounds that reduce viable count of B. cereus in food. The assay exhibited a dose dependent GFP inhibition response with ~25% inhibition at 50 ng/mL toxin evaluated in culture media or soy milk, rice milk or infant formula, products associated with food poisonings outbreak. The plant extracts of green tea or bitter almond and the plant compounds epicatechin or carvacrol were found to amplify the assay response to ~90% inhibition at the 50 ng/mL toxin concentration greatly increasing the sensitivity of this assay. Additional studies showed that the test formulations also inhibited the growth of the B. cereus bacteria, likely through cell membrane disruption. The results suggest that the improved highly sensitive assay for the toxin and the rapid inactivation of the pathogen producing the toxin have the potential to enhance food safety.

  6. Mutation induced extinction in finite populations: lethal mutagenesis and lethal isolation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Scott Wylie

    Full Text Available Reproduction is inherently risky, in part because genomic replication can introduce new mutations that are usually deleterious toward fitness. This risk is especially severe for organisms whose genomes replicate "semi-conservatively," e.g. viruses and bacteria, where no master copy of the genome is preserved. Lethal mutagenesis refers to extinction of populations due to an unbearably high mutation rate (U, and is important both theoretically and clinically, where drugs can extinguish pathogens by increasing their mutation rate. Previous theoretical models of lethal mutagenesis assume infinite population size (N. However, in addition to high U, small N can accelerate extinction by strengthening genetic drift and relaxing selection. Here, we examine how the time until extinction depends jointly on N and U. We first analytically compute the mean time until extinction (τ in a simplistic model where all mutations are either lethal or neutral. The solution motivates the definition of two distinct regimes: a survival phase and an extinction phase, which differ dramatically in both how τ scales with N and in the coefficient of variation in time until extinction. Next, we perform stochastic population-genetics simulations on a realistic fitness landscape that both (i features an epistatic distribution of fitness effects that agrees with experimental data on viruses and (ii is based on the biophysics of protein folding. More specifically, we assume that mutations inflict fitness penalties proportional to the extent that they unfold proteins. We find that decreasing N can cause phase transition-like behavior from survival to extinction, which motivates the concept of "lethal isolation." Furthermore, we find that lethal mutagenesis and lethal isolation interact synergistically, which may have clinical implications for treating infections. Broadly, we conclude that stably folded proteins are only possible in ecological settings that support sufficiently

  7. Combination of two candidate subunit vaccine antigens elicits protective immunity to ricin and anthrax toxin in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, David J; Rong, Yinghui; Brey, Robert N; Mantis, Nicholas J

    2015-01-09

    In an effort to develop combination vaccines for biodefense, we evaluated a ricin subunit antigen, RiVax, given in conjunction with an anthrax protective antigen, DNI. The combination led to high endpoint titer antibody response, neutralizing antibodies, and protective immunity against ricin and anthrax lethal toxin. This is a natural combination vaccine, since both antigens are recombinant subunit proteins that would be given to the same target population.

  8. Identification and validation of a linear protective neutralizing epitope in the β-pore domain of alpha toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Oscherwitz

    Full Text Available The plethora of virulence factors associated with Staphylococcus aureus make this bacterium an attractive candidate for a molecularly-designed epitope-focused vaccine. This approach, which necessitates the identification of neutralizing epitopes for incorporation into a vaccine construct, is being evaluated for pathogens where conventional approaches have failed to elicit protective humoral responses, like HIV-1 and malaria, but may also hold promise for pathogens like S. aureus, where the elicitation of humoral immunity against multiple virulence factors may be required for development of an effective vaccine. Among the virulence factors employed by S. aureus, animal model and epidemiological data suggest that alpha toxin, a multimeric β-pore forming toxin like protective antigen from Bacillus anthracis, is particularly critical, yet no candidate neutralizing epitopes have been delineated in alpha toxin to date. We have previously shown that a linear determinant in the 2β2-2β3 loop of the pore forming domain of B. anthracis protective antigen is a linear neutralizing epitope. Antibody against this site is highly potent for neutralizing anthrax lethal toxin in vitro and for protection of rabbits in vivo from virulent B. anthracis. We hypothesized that sequences in the β-pore of S. aureus alpha toxin that share structural and functional homology to β-pore sequences in protective antigen would contain a similarly critical neutralizing epitope. Using an in vivo mapping strategy employing peptide immunogens, an optimized in vitro toxin neutralization assay, and an in vivo dermonecrosis model, we have now confirmed the presence of this epitope in alpha toxin, termed the pore neutralizing determinant. Antibody specific for this determinant neutralizes alpha toxin in vitro, and is highly effective for mitigating dermonecrosis and bacterial growth in a mouse model of S. aureus USA300 skin infection. The delineation of this linear neutralizing

  9. Identification and validation of a linear protective neutralizing epitope in the β-pore domain of alpha toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oscherwitz, Jon; Cease, Kemp B

    2015-01-01

    The plethora of virulence factors associated with Staphylococcus aureus make this bacterium an attractive candidate for a molecularly-designed epitope-focused vaccine. This approach, which necessitates the identification of neutralizing epitopes for incorporation into a vaccine construct, is being evaluated for pathogens where conventional approaches have failed to elicit protective humoral responses, like HIV-1 and malaria, but may also hold promise for pathogens like S. aureus, where the elicitation of humoral immunity against multiple virulence factors may be required for development of an effective vaccine. Among the virulence factors employed by S. aureus, animal model and epidemiological data suggest that alpha toxin, a multimeric β-pore forming toxin like protective antigen from Bacillus anthracis, is particularly critical, yet no candidate neutralizing epitopes have been delineated in alpha toxin to date. We have previously shown that a linear determinant in the 2β2-2β3 loop of the pore forming domain of B. anthracis protective antigen is a linear neutralizing epitope. Antibody against this site is highly potent for neutralizing anthrax lethal toxin in vitro and for protection of rabbits in vivo from virulent B. anthracis. We hypothesized that sequences in the β-pore of S. aureus alpha toxin that share structural and functional homology to β-pore sequences in protective antigen would contain a similarly critical neutralizing epitope. Using an in vivo mapping strategy employing peptide immunogens, an optimized in vitro toxin neutralization assay, and an in vivo dermonecrosis model, we have now confirmed the presence of this epitope in alpha toxin, termed the pore neutralizing determinant. Antibody specific for this determinant neutralizes alpha toxin in vitro, and is highly effective for mitigating dermonecrosis and bacterial growth in a mouse model of S. aureus USA300 skin infection. The delineation of this linear neutralizing determinant in alpha

  10. Marine Toxins That Target Voltage-gated Sodium Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. French

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Eukaryotic, voltage-gated sodium (NaV channels are large membrane proteins which underlie generation and propagation of rapid electrical signals in nerve, muscle and heart. Nine different NaV receptor sites, for natural ligands and/or drugs, have been identified, based on functional analyses and site-directed mutagenesis. In the marine ecosystem, numerous toxins have evolved to disrupt NaV channel function, either by inhibition of current flow through the channels, or by modifying the activation and inactivation gating processes by which the channels open and close. These toxins function in their native environment as offensive or defensive weapons in prey capture or deterrence of predators. In composition, they range from organic molecules of varying size and complexity to peptides consisting of ~10-70 amino acids. We review the variety of known NaV-targeted marine toxins, outlining, where known, their sites of interaction with the channel protein and their functional effects. In a number of cases, these natural ligands have the potential applications as drugs in clinical settings, or as models for drug development.

  11. Anthrax vaccination induced anti-lethal factor IgG: fine specificity and neutralizing capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Sherry R; Garman, Lori; Engler, Renata J M; Farris, A Darise; Ballard, Jimmy D; Harley, John B; James, Judith A

    2011-05-09

    The efficacy biomarker of the currently licensed anthrax vaccine (AVA) is based on quantity and neutralizing capacity of anti-protective antigen (anti-PA) antibodies. However, animal studies have demonstrated that antibodies to lethal factor (LF) can provide protection against in vivo bacterial spore challenges. Improved understanding of the fine specificities of humoral immune responses that provide optimum neutralization capacity may enhance the efficacy of future passive immune globulin preparations to treat and prevent inhalation anthrax morbidity and mortality. This study (n=1000) was designed to identify AVA vaccinated individuals who generate neutralizing antibodies and to determine what specificities correlate with protection. The number of vaccine doses, years post vaccination, and PA titer were associated with in vitro neutralization, reinforcing previous reports. In addition, African American individuals had lower serologic neutralizing activity than European Americans, suggesting a genetic role in the generation of these neutralizing antibodies. Of the vaccinated individuals, only 69 (6.9%) had moderate levels of anti-LF IgG compared to 244 (24.4%) with low and 687 (68.7%) with extremely low levels of IgG antibodies to LF. Using overlapping decapeptide analysis, we identified six common LF antigenic regions targeted by those individuals with moderate levels of antibodies to LF and high in vitro toxin neutralizing activity. Affinity purified antibodies directed against antigenic epitopes within the PA binding and ADP-ribotransferase-like domains of LF were able to protect mice against lethal toxin challenge. Findings from these studies have important implications for vaccine design and immunotherapeutic development.

  12. Clinical and Pathological Findings Associated with Aerosol Exposure of Macaques to Ricin Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pincus, Seth H.; Bhaskaran, Manoj; Brey, Robert N.; Didier, Peter J.; Doyle-Meyers, Lara A.; Roy, Chad J.

    2015-01-01

    Ricin is a potential bioweapon that could be used against civilian and military personnel. Aerosol exposure is the most likely route of contact to ricin toxin that will result in the most severe toxicity. Early recognition of ricin exposure is essential if specific antidotes are to be applied. Initial diagnosis will most likely be syndromic, i.e., fitting clinical and laboratory signs into a pattern which then will guide the choice of more specific diagnostic assays and therapeutic interventions. We have studied the pathology of ricin toxin in rhesus macaques exposed to lethal and sublethal ricin aerosols. Animals exposed to lethal ricin aerosols were followed clinically using telemetry, by clinical laboratory analyses and by post-mortem examination. Animals exposed to lethal aerosolized ricin developed fever associated with thermal instability, tachycardia, and dyspnea. In the peripheral blood a marked neutrophilia (without immature bands) developed at 24 h. This was accompanied by an increase in monocytes, but depletion of lymphocytes. Red cell indices indicated hemoconcentration, as did serum chemistries, with modest increases in sodium and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Serum albumin was strikingly decreased. These observations are consistent with the pathological observations of fluid shifts to the lungs, in the form of hemorrhages, inflammatory exudates, and tissue edema. In macaques exposed to sublethal aerosols of ricin, late pathologic consequences included chronic pulmonary fibrosis, likely mediated by M2 macrophages. Early administration of supportive therapy, specific antidotes after exposure or vaccines prior to exposure have the potential to favorably alter this outcome. PMID:26067369

  13. Clinical and Pathological Findings Associated with Aerosol Exposure of Macaques to Ricin Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth H. Pincus

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Ricin is a potential bioweapon that could be used against civilian and military personnel. Aerosol exposure is the most likely route of contact to ricin toxin that will result in the most severe toxicity. Early recognition of ricin exposure is essential if specific antidotes are to be applied. Initial diagnosis will most likely be syndromic, i.e., fitting clinical and laboratory signs into a pattern which then will guide the choice of more specific diagnostic assays and therapeutic interventions. We have studied the pathology of ricin toxin in rhesus macaques exposed to lethal and sublethal ricin aerosols. Animals exposed to lethal ricin aerosols were followed clinically using telemetry, by clinical laboratory analyses and by post-mortem examination. Animals exposed to lethal aerosolized ricin developed fever associated with thermal instability, tachycardia, and dyspnea. In the peripheral blood a marked neutrophilia (without immature bands developed at 24 h. This was accompanied by an increase in monocytes, but depletion of lymphocytes. Red cell indices indicated hemoconcentration, as did serum chemistries, with modest increases in sodium and blood urea nitrogen (BUN. Serum albumin was strikingly decreased. These observations are consistent with the pathological observations of fluid shifts to the lungs, in the form of hemorrhages, inflammatory exudates, and tissue edema. In macaques exposed to sublethal aerosols of ricin, late pathologic consequences included chronic pulmonary fibrosis, likely mediated by M2 macrophages. Early administration of supportive therapy, specific antidotes after exposure or vaccines prior to exposure have the potential to favorably alter this outcome.

  14. Anthrax Toxin-Expressing Bacillus cereus Isolated from an Anthrax-Like Eschar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chung K Marston

    Full Text Available Bacillus cereus isolates have been described harboring Bacillus anthracis toxin genes, most notably B. cereus G9241, and capable of causing severe and fatal pneumonias. This report describes the characterization of a B. cereus isolate, BcFL2013, associated with a naturally occurring cutaneous lesion resembling an anthrax eschar. Similar to G9241, BcFL2013 is positive for the B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes, has a multi-locus sequence type of 78, and a pagA sequence type of 9. Whole genome sequencing confirms the similarity to G9241. In addition to the chromosome having an average nucleotide identity of 99.98% when compared to G9241, BcFL2013 harbors three plasmids with varying homology to the G9241 plasmids (pBCXO1, pBC210 and pBFH_1. This is also the first report to include serologic testing of patient specimens associated with this type of B. cereus infection which resulted in the detection of anthrax lethal factor toxemia, a quantifiable serum antibody response to protective antigen (PA, and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

  15. Anthrax Toxin-Expressing Bacillus cereus Isolated from an Anthrax-Like Eschar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marston, Chung K; Ibrahim, Hisham; Lee, Philip; Churchwell, George; Gumke, Megan; Stanek, Danielle; Gee, Jay E; Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Barr, John R; Li, Han; Boulay, Darbi; Cronin, Li; Quinn, Conrad P; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus isolates have been described harboring Bacillus anthracis toxin genes, most notably B. cereus G9241, and capable of causing severe and fatal pneumonias. This report describes the characterization of a B. cereus isolate, BcFL2013, associated with a naturally occurring cutaneous lesion resembling an anthrax eschar. Similar to G9241, BcFL2013 is positive for the B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes, has a multi-locus sequence type of 78, and a pagA sequence type of 9. Whole genome sequencing confirms the similarity to G9241. In addition to the chromosome having an average nucleotide identity of 99.98% when compared to G9241, BcFL2013 harbors three plasmids with varying homology to the G9241 plasmids (pBCXO1, pBC210 and pBFH_1). This is also the first report to include serologic testing of patient specimens associated with this type of B. cereus infection which resulted in the detection of anthrax lethal factor toxemia, a quantifiable serum antibody response to protective antigen (PA), and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

  16. Entry of Shiga toxin into cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvig, Kirsten; van Deurs, Bo

    1994-01-01

    Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport......Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport...

  17. Inhibition of cholera toxin and other AB toxins by polyphenolic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    All AB-type protein toxins have intracellular targets despite an initial extracellular location. These toxins use different methods to reach the cytosol and have different effects on the target cell. Broad-spectrum inhibitors against AB toxins are therefore hard to develop because the toxins use dif...

  18. A novel toxin homologous to large clostridial cytotoxins found in culture supernatant of Clostridium perfringens type C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amimoto, Katsuhiko; Noro, Taichi; Oishi, Eiji; Shimizu, Mitsugu

    2007-04-01

    An unknown cytotoxin was identified in the culture supernatant of Clostridium perfringens type C. The cytotoxin, named TpeL, which was purified using mAb-based affinity chromatography, had a lethal activity of 62 minimum lethal dose (MLD) mg(-1) in mice and a cytotoxic activity of 6.2x10(5) cytotoxic units (CU) mg(-1) in Vero cells. The nucleotide sequence of TpeL was determined. The entire ORF had a length of 4953 bases, and the same nucleotide sequence was not recorded in the GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ databases. The molecular mass calculated from the deduced amino acid sequence was 191 kDa, and a signal peptide region was not found within the ORF. The deduced amino acid sequence exhibited 30-39 % homology to Clostridium difficile toxins A (TcdA) and B (TcdB), Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin (TcsL) and Clostridium novyi alpha-toxin (TcnA). The amino acid sequence of TpeL is shorter than these toxins, and the homologous region was located at the N-terminal site. Eighteen strains of C. perfringens types A, B and C were surveyed for the presence of the tpeL gene by PCR. The tpeL gene was detected in all type B (one strain) and C strains (five strains), but not in any type A strains (12 strains). TpeL was detected in culture filtrates of the five type C strains by dot-blot analysis, but not in the type B strain. It was concluded that TpeL is a novel toxin similar to the known large clostridial cytotoxins. Furthermore, the data indicated that TpeL is produced by many C. perfringens type C strains.

  19. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  20. Food-Borne Bacterial Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thatcher, F. S.

    1966-01-01

    Food poisoning caused by the ingestion of preformed bacterial toxins is considered in relation to comparative symptoms, procedures for extraction and purification of the causal toxins, their chemistry, serology, assay procedures and pharmacology, in so far as these are known. The bacteria discussed in this context are Clostridium botulinum, C. perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Vibrio parahemolyticus. The possible roles of the enterococci, Proteus, E. coli and of unknown species, in relation to production of non-antigenic toxic substances, are discussed briefly. Requirements for prevention of the various forms of bacterial food poisoning are outlined. PMID:5905949

  1. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  2. Molecular identification of poisonous mushrooms using nuclear ITS region and peptide toxins: a retrospective study on fatal cases in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnmen, Sittiporn; Sikaphan, Sujitra; Leudang, Siriwan; Boonpratuang, Thitiya; Rangsiruji, Achariya; Naksuwankul, Khwanruan

    2016-02-01

    Cases of mushroom poisoning in Thailand have increased annually. During 2008 to 2014, the cases reported to the National Institute of Health included 57 deaths; at least 15 died after ingestion of amanitas, the most common lethal wild mushrooms inhabited. Hence, the aims of this study were to identify mushroom samples from nine clinically reported cases during the 7-year study period based on nuclear ITS sequence data and diagnose lethal peptide toxins using a reversed phase LC-MS method. Nucleotide similarity was identified using BLAST search of the NCBI database and the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD). Clade characterization was performed by maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic approaches. Based on BLAST and BOLD reference databases our results yielded high nucleotide similarities of poisonous mushroom samples to A. exitialis and A. fuliginea. Detailed phylogenetic analyses showed that all mushroom samples fall into their current classification. Detection of the peptide toxins revealed the presence of amatoxins and phallotoxins in A. exitialis and A. fuliginea. In addition, toxic α-amanitin was identified in a new provisional species, Amanita sp.1, with the highest toxin quantity. Molecular identification confirmed that the mushrooms ingested by the patients were members of the lethal amanitas in the sections Amanita and Phalloideae. In Thailand, the presence of A. exitialis was reported here for the first time and all three poisonous mushroom species provided new and informative data for clinical studies.

  3. Comparison of the toxins of the blue-green alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae with the Gonyaulax toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikawa, M; Wegener, K; Foxall, T L; Sasner, J J

    1982-01-01

    A toxic strain of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (NH-1), isolated from a toxic bloom in a pond in Durham, New Hampshire, has been mass cultured in the laboratory. The toxin was extracted by ultrasonic disruption of the cells and purified by; (a) filtration through a 10 kilodalton filter, and (b) chromatography on a strong cation exchange resin column using 0.01 M, then 0.1 M, pH 5, sodium acetate buffer followed by 0.75 M hydrochloric acid. Mouse assays and fluorescence generated by hydrogen peroxide oxidation were used to monitor the fractions. Only a nonfluorescent toxic peak followed immediately by a fluorescent less-toxic peak were detected, both eluting with the hydrochloric acid fractions. The toxins were identical in behavior to neosaxitoxin and saxitoxin, respectively, when compared with elution profiles of the paralytic shellfish poisons from Gonyaulax tamarensis var. excavata and by paper electrophoretic and thin-layer chromatographic comparisons. The toxin profile appears to be different from that of a previously isolated strain of A. flos-aquae from Kezar Lake.

  4. Binding of cholera toxin to Giardia lamblia.

    OpenAIRE

    McCardell, B. A.; Madden, J M; Stanfield, J T; Tall, B D; Stephens, M. J.

    1987-01-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to Giardia lamblia was demonstrated by two slightly different methods: an immunofluorescence technique using antibody to cholera toxin and anti-rabbit immunoglobulin G conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate, and a one-step fluorescence method in which G. lamblia was incubated with the B subunit of cholera toxin conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate.

  5. Tumor endothelium marker-8 based decoys exhibit superiority over capillary morphogenesis protein-2 based decoys as anthrax toxin inhibitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chenguang Cai

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis. The toxin consists of three protein subunits: protective antigen (PA, lethal factor, and edema factor. Inhibition of PA binding to its receptors, tumor endothelium marker-8 (TEM8 and capillary morphogenesis protein-2 (CMG2 can effectively block anthrax intoxication, which is particularly valuable when the toxin has already been overproduced at the late stage of anthrax infection, thus rendering antibiotics ineffectual. Receptor-like agonists, such as the mammalian cell-expressed von Willebrand factor type A (vWA domain of CMG2 (sCMG2, have demonstrated potency against the anthrax toxin. However, the soluble vWA domain of TEM8 (sTEM8 was ruled out as an anthrax toxin inhibitor candidate due to its inferior affinity to PA. In the present study, we report that L56A, a PA-binding-affinity-elevated mutant of sTEM8, could inhibit anthrax intoxication as effectively as sCMG2 in Fisher 344 rats. Additionally, pharmacokinetics showed that L56A and sTEM8 exhibit advantages over sCMG2 with better lung-targeting and longer plasma retention time, which may contribute to their enhanced protective ability in vivo. Our results suggest that receptor decoys based on TEM8 are promising anthrax toxin inhibitors and, together with the pharmacokinetic studies in this report, may contribute to the development of novel anthrax drugs.

  6. Autophagy mediates tolerance to Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Katie; Reyes-Robles, Tamara; Alonzo, Francis; Durbin, Joan; Torres, Victor J; Cadwell, Ken

    2015-04-01

    Resistance and tolerance are two defense strategies employed by the host against microbial threats. Autophagy-mediated degradation of bacteria has been extensively described as a major resistance mechanism. Here we find that the dominant function of autophagy proteins during infections with the epidemic community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300 is to mediate tolerance rather than resistance. Atg16L1 hypomorphic mice (Atg16L1(HM)), which have reduced autophagy, were highly susceptible to lethality in both sepsis and pneumonia models of USA300 infection. Autophagy confers protection by limiting the damage caused by α-toxin, particularly to endothelial cells. Remarkably, Atg16L1(HM) mice display enhanced survival rather than susceptibility upon infection with α-toxin-deficient S. aureus. These results identify an essential role for autophagy in tolerance to Staphylococcal disease and highlight how a single virulence factor encoded by a pathogen can determine whether a given host factor promotes tolerance or resistance.

  7. Toxins from the box-jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endean, R; Monks, S A; Cameron, A M

    1993-04-01

    Two myotoxins (T1 and T2) with mol. wts of approximately 600,000 and 150,000, respectively, and a haemolysin (T3) with a mol. wt of approximately 70,000 were isolated from the crude nematocyst venom of C. fleckeri by the use of Sephadex G-200 chromatography. A neurotoxic fraction (T4) and a haemolytic fraction (T5) containing proteins with apparent mol. wts of approximately 150,000 and 70,000, respectively, were also isolated by Sephadex chromatography from crude extracts of tentacular material from which nematocysts had been removed. The three nematocyst toxins and the two toxic fractions from tentacle extracts were lethal to mice on i.v. injection. After SDS-PAGE the myotoxins T1 and T2 yielded similar major bands corresponding with mol. wts different from those yielded by T3 and the toxic tentacle fractions. T1 and T2 appeared to be comprised of aggregations of subunits with mol. wts of approximately 18,000. On HPLC, crude nematocyst venom and the nematocyst toxins T1 and T2 lost their myotoxic properties. The need for thorough removal of extraneous tentacular material from isolated nematocysts, the need for effective rupture of nematocysts, the need to counter the lability of the nematocyst venom and the need to use myotoxicity as a criterion of venom activity if the active components of the venom are to be purified and characterized are emphasized.

  8. Suicide Intent and Accurate Expectations of Lethality: Predictors of Medical Lethality of Suicide Attempts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gregory K.; Henriques, Gregg R.; Sosdjan, Daniella; Beck, Aaron T.

    2004-01-01

    The degree of intent to commit suicide and the severity of self-injury were examined in individuals (N = 180) who had recently attempted suicide. Although a minimal association was found between the degree of suicide intent and the degree of lethality of the attempt, the accuracy of expectations about the likelihood of dying was found to moderate…

  9. Purification and biophysical characterization of the core protease domain of anthrax lethal factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkazonis, Petros V; Dalkas, Georgios A; Chasapis, Christos T; Vlamis-Gardikas, Alexios; Bentrop, Detlef; Spyroulias, Georgios A

    2010-06-04

    Anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) stands for the major virulence factor of the anthrax disease. It comprises a 90kDa highly specific metalloprotease, the anthrax lethal factor (LF). LF possesses a catalytic Zn(2+) binding site and is highly specific against MAPK kinases, thus representing the most potent native biomolecule to alter and inactivate MKK [MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) kinases] signalling pathways. Given the importance of the interaction between LF and substrate for the development of anti-anthrax agents as well as the potential treatment of nascent tumours, the analysis of the structure and dynamic properties of the LF catalytic site are essential to elucidate its enzymatic properties. Here we report the recombinant expression and purification of a C-terminal part of LF (LF(672-776)) that harbours the enzyme's core protease domain. The biophysical characterization and backbone assignments ((1)H, (13)C, (15)N) of the polypeptide revealed a stable, well folded structure even in the absence of Zn(2+), suitable for high resolution structural analysis by NMR.

  10. Deadly hairs, lethal feathers--convergent evolution of poisonous integument in mammals and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plikus, Maksim V; Astrowski, Aliaksandr A

    2014-07-01

    Hairs and feathers are textbook examples of the convergent evolution of the follicular appendage structure between mammals and birds. While broadly recognized for their convergent thermoregulatory, camouflage and sexual display functions, hairs and feathers are rarely thought of as deadly defence tools. Several recent studies, however, show that in some species of mammals and birds, the integument can, in fact, be a de facto lethal weapon. One mammalian example is provided by African crested rats, which seek for and chew on the bark of plants containing the highly potent toxin, ouabain. These rats then coat their fur with ouabain-containing saliva. For efficient toxin retention, the rodents have evolved highly specialized fenestrated and mostly hollow hair shafts that soak up liquids, which essentially function as wicks. On the avian side of the vertebrate integumental variety spectrum, several species of birds of New Guinea have evolved resistance to highly potent batrachotoxins, which they acquire from their insect diet. While the mechanism of bird toxicity remains obscure, in a recently published issue of the journal, Dumbacher and Menon explore the intriguing idea that to achieve efficient storage of batrachotoxins in their skin, some birds exploit the basic permeability barrier function of their epidermis. Batrachotoxins become preferentially sequestered in their epidermis and are then transferred to feathers, likely through the exploitation of specialized avian lipid-storing multigranular body organelles. Here, we discuss wider implications of this intriguing concept.

  11. Vibrio cholerae hemolysin is required for lethality, developmental delay, and intestinal vacuolation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hediye Nese Cinar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cholera toxin (CT and toxin-co-regulated pili (TCP are the major virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 strains that contribute to the pathogenesis of disease during devastating cholera pandemics. However, CT and TCP negative V. cholerae strains are still able to cause severe diarrheal disease in humans through mechanisms that are not well understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To determine the role of other virulence factors in V. cholerae pathogenesis, we used a CT and TCP independent infection model in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and identified the hemolysin A (hlyA gene as a factor responsible for animal death and developmental delay. We demonstrated a correlation between the severity of infection in the nematode and the level of hemolytic activity in the V. cholerae biotypes. At the cellular level, V. cholerae infection induces formation of vacuoles in the intestinal cells in a hlyA dependent manner, consistent with the previous in vitro observations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data strongly suggest that HlyA is a virulence factor in C. elegans infection leading to lethality and developmental delay presumably through intestinal cytopathic changes.

  12. Bacillus bombysepticus α-Toxin Binding to G Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2 Regulates cAMP/PKA Signaling Pathway to Induce Host Death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Lin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial pathogens and their toxins target host receptors, leading to aberrant behavior or host death by changing signaling events through subversion of host intracellular cAMP level. This is an efficient and widespread mechanism of microbial pathogenesis. Previous studies describe toxins that increase cAMP in host cells, resulting in death through G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR signaling pathways by influencing adenylyl cyclase or G protein activity. G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2 has a central role in regulation of GPCR desensitization. However, little information is available about the pathogenic mechanisms of toxins associated with GRK2. Here, we reported a new bacterial toxin-Bacillus bombysepticus (Bb α-toxin that was lethal to host. We showed that Bb α-toxin interacted with BmGRK2. The data demonstrated that Bb α-toxin directly bound to BmGRK2 to promote death by affecting GPCR signaling pathways. This mechanism involved stimulation of Gαs, increase level of cAMP and activation of protein kinase A (PKA. Activated cAMP/PKA signal transduction altered downstream effectors that affected homeostasis and fundamental biological processes, disturbing the structural and functional integrity of cells, resulting in death. Preventing cAMP/PKA signaling transduction by inhibitions (NF449 or H-89 substantially reduced the pathogenicity of Bb α-toxin. The discovery of a toxin-induced host death specifically linked to GRK2 mediated signaling pathway suggested a new model for bacterial toxin action. Characterization of host genes whose expression and function are regulated by Bb α-toxin and GRK2 will offer a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases caused by pathogens that elevate cAMP.

  13. Kinetic and Reaction Pathway Analysis in the Application of Botulinum Toxin A for Wound Healing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank J. Lebeda

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A relatively new approach in the treatment of specific wounds in animal models and in patients with type A botulinum toxin is the focus of this paper. The indications or conditions include traumatic wounds (experimental and clinical, surgical (incision wounds, and wounds such as fissures and ulcers that are signs/symptoms of disease or other processes. An objective was to conduct systematic literature searches and take note of the reactions involved in the healing process and identify corresponding pharmacokinetic data. From several case reports, we developed a qualitative model of how botulinum toxin disrupts the vicious cycle of muscle spasm, pain, inflammation, decreased blood flow, and ischemia. We transformed this model into a minimal kinetic scheme for healing chronic wounds. The model helped us to estimate the rate of decline of this toxin's therapeutic effect by calculating the rate of recurrence of clinical symptoms after a wound-healing treatment with this neurotoxin.

  14. Synthetic lethal approaches for assessing combinatorial efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Rebecca A; Chen, Ee Sin

    2016-06-01

    The recent advances in pharmacogenomics have made personalized medicine no longer a pipedream but a precise and powerful way to tailor individualized cancer treatment strategies. Cancer is a devastating disease, and contemporary chemotherapeutic strategies now integrate several agents in the treatment of some types of cancer, with the intent to block more than one target simultaneously. This constitutes the premise of synthetic lethality, an attractive therapeutic strategy already demonstrating clinical success in patients with breast and ovarian cancers. Synthetic lethal combinations offer the potential to also target the hitherto "undruggable" mutations that have challenged the cancer field for decades. However, synthetic lethality in clinical cancer therapy is very much still in its infancy, and selecting the most appropriate combinations-or synthetic lethal pairs-is not always an intuitive process. Here, we review some of the recent progress in identifying synthetic lethal combinations and their potential for therapy and highlight some of the tools through which synthetic lethal pairs are identified.

  15. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rex Munday

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved.

  16. Food irradiation and bacterial toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tranter, H.S.; Modi, N.K.; Hambleton, P.; Melling, J.; Rose, S.; Stringer, M.F.

    1987-07-04

    The authors' findings indicate that irradiation confers no advantage over heat processing in respect of bacterial toxins (clostridium botulinum, neurotoxin A and staphylococcal enterotoxin A). It follows that irradiation at doses less than the ACINF recommended upper limit of 10 kGy could not be used to improve the ambient temperature shelf life on non-acid foods.

  17. Polymer antidotes for toxin sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisman, Adam; Chou, Beverly; O'Brien, Jeffrey; Shea, Kenneth J

    2015-08-01

    Toxins delivered by envenomation, secreted by microorganisms, or unintentionally ingested can pose an immediate threat to life. Rapid intervention coupled with the appropriate antidote is required to mitigate the threat. Many antidotes are biological products and their cost, methods of production, potential for eliciting immunogenic responses, the time needed to generate them, and stability issues contribute to their limited availability and effectiveness. These factors exacerbate a world-wide challenge for providing treatment. In this review we evaluate a number of polymer constructs that may serve as alternative antidotes. The range of toxins investigated includes those from sources such as plants, animals and bacteria. The development of polymeric heavy metal sequestrants for use as antidotes to heavy metal poisoning faces similar challenges, thus recent findings in this area have also been included. Two general strategies have emerged for the development of polymeric antidotes. In one, the polymer acts as a scaffold for the presentation of ligands with a known affinity for the toxin. A second strategy is to generate polymers with an intrinsic affinity, and in some cases selectivity, to a range of toxins. Importantly, in vivo efficacy has been demonstrated for each of these strategies, which suggests that these approaches hold promise as an alternative to biological or small molecule based treatments.

  18. Shigella Sonnei and Shiga Toxin

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2016-07-28

    Katherine Lamba, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health, discusses Shiga Toxin producing Shigella sonnei.  Created: 7/28/2016 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 7/28/2016.

  19. Search and Disrupt

    OpenAIRE

    Ørding Olsen, Anders

    2015-01-01

    This paper analyzes how external search is affected by strategic interest alignment among knowledge sources. I focus on misalignment arising from the heterogeneous effects of disruptive technologies by analyzing the influence of incumbents on 2,855 non-incumbents? external knowledge search efforts. The efforts most likely to solve innovation problems obtained funding from the European Commission?s 7th Framework Program (2007-2013). The results show that involving incumbents improv...

  20. Novel receptors for bacterial protein toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Gudula; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-02-01

    While bacterial effectors are often directly introduced into eukaryotic target cells by various types of injection machines, toxins enter the cytosol of host cells from endosomal compartments or after retrograde transport via Golgi from the ER. A first crucial step of toxin-host interaction is receptor binding. Using optimized protocols and new methods novel toxin receptors have been identified, including metalloprotease ADAM 10 for Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin, laminin receptor Lu/BCAM for Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor CNF1, lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR) for Clostridium difficile transferase CDT and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 1 for Clostridium perfringens TpeL toxin.

  1. Intrinsic repair protects cells from pore-forming toxins by microvesicle shedding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Matthew; Keyel, Michelle; Shi, Guilan; Bhattacharjee, Pushpak; Roth, Robyn; Heuser, John E; Keyel, Peter A

    2017-02-10

    Pore-forming toxins (PFTs) are used by both the immune system and by pathogens to disrupt cell membranes. Cells attempt to repair this disruption in various ways, but the exact mechanism(s) that cells use are not fully understood, nor agreed upon. Current models for membrane repair include (1) patch formation (e.g., fusion of internal vesicles with plasma membrane defects), (2) endocytosis of the pores, and (3) shedding of the pores by blebbing from the cell membrane. In this study, we sought to determine the specific mechanism(s) that cells use to resist three different cholesterol-dependent PFTs: Streptolysin O, Perfringolysin O, and Intermedilysin. We found that all three toxins were shed from cells by blebbing from the cell membrane on extracellular microvesicles (MVs). Unique among the cells studied, we found that macrophages were 10 times more resistant to the toxins, yet they shed significantly smaller vesicles than the other cells. To examine the mechanism of shedding, we tested whether toxins with engineered defects in pore formation or oligomerization were shed. We found that oligomerization was necessary and sufficient for membrane shedding, suggesting that calcium influx and patch formation were not required for shedding. However, pore formation enhanced shedding, suggesting that calcium influx and patch formation enhance repair. In contrast, monomeric toxins were endocytosed. These data indicate that cells use two interrelated mechanisms of membrane repair: lipid-dependent MV shedding, which we term 'intrinsic repair', and patch formation by intracellular organelles. Endocytosis may act after membrane repair is complete by removing inactivated and monomeric toxins from the cell surface.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 10 February 2017; doi:10.1038/cdd.2017.11.

  2. Venomics, lethality and neutralization of Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) venoms from three different geographical regions of Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Kae Yi; Tan, Choo Hock; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2015-04-29

    Previous studies showed that venoms of the monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia from Thailand and Malaysia are substantially different in their median lethal doses. The intraspecific venom variations of N. kaouthia, however, have not been fully elucidated. Here we investigated the venom proteomes of N. kaouthia from Malaysia (NK-M), Thailand (NK-T) and Vietnam (NK-V) through reverse-phase HPLC, SDS-PAGE and tandem mass spectrometry. The venom proteins comprise 13 toxin families, with three-finger toxins being the most abundant (63-77%) and the most varied (11-18 isoforms) among the three populations. NK-T has the highest content of neurotoxins (50%, predominantly long neurotoxins), followed by NK-V (29%, predominantly weak neurotoxins and some short neurotoxins), while NK-M has the least (18%, some weak neurotoxins but less short and long neurotoxins). On the other hand, cytotoxins constitute the main bulk of toxins in NK-M and NK-V venoms (up to 45% each), but less in NK-T venom (27%). The three venoms show different lethal potencies that generally reflect the proteomic findings. Despite the proteomic variations, the use of Thai monovalent and Neuro polyvalent antivenoms for N. kaouthia envenomation in the three regions is appropriate as the different venoms were neutralized by the antivenoms albeit at different degrees of effectiveness. Biogeographical variations were observed in the venom proteome of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Thai N. kaouthia venom is particularly rich in long neurotoxins, while the Malaysian and Vietnamese specimens were predominated with cytotoxins. The differentially expressed toxin profile accounts for the discrepancy in the lethal dose of the venom from different populations. Commercially available Thai antivenoms (monovalent and polyvalent) were able to neutralize the three venoms at different effective doses, hence supporting their uses in the three regions. While dose adjustment according to

  3. Vibrio cholerae MARTX toxin heterologous translocation of beta-lactamase and roles of individual effector domains on cytoskeleton dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolores, Jazel S; Agarwal, Shivani; Egerer, Martina; Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-02-01

    The Vibrio cholerae MARTXVc toxin delivers three effector domains to eukaryotic cells. To study toxin delivery and function of individual domains, the rtxA gene was modified to encode toxin with an in-frame beta-lactamase (Bla) fusion. The hybrid RtxA::Bla toxin was Type I secreted from bacteria; and then Bla was translocated into eukaryotic cells and delivered by autoprocessing, demonstrating that the MARTXVc toxin is capable of heterologous protein transfer. Strains that produce hybrid RtxA::Bla toxins that carry one effector domain in addition to Bla were found to more efficiently translocate Bla. In cell biological assays, the actin cross-linking domain (ACD) and Rho-inactivation domain (RID) are found to cross-link actin and inactivate RhoA, respectively, when other effector domains are absent, with toxin autoprocessing required for high efficiency. The previously unstudied alpha-beta hydrolase domain (ABH) is shown here to activate CDC42, although the effect is ameliorated when RID is also present. Despite all effector domains acting on cytoskeleton assembly, the ACD was sufficient to rapidly inhibit macrophage phagocytosis. Both the ACD and RID independently disrupted polarized epithelial tight junction integrity. The sufficiency of ACD but strong selection for retention of RID and ABH suggests these two domains may primarily function by modulating cell signaling.

  4. Dissecting the Urokinase Activation Pathway Using Urokinase-Activated Anthrax Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shihui; Bugge, Thomas H.; Frankel, Arthur E.; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    Anthrax toxin is a three-part toxin secreted by Bacillus anthracis, consisting of protective antigen (PrAg), edema factor (EF), and lethal factor (LF). To intoxicate host mammalian cells, PrAg, the cell-binding moiety of the toxin, binds to cells and is then proteolytically activated by furin on the cell surface, resulting in the active heptameric form of PrAg. This heptamer serves as a protein-conducting channel that translocates EF and LF, the two enzymatic moieties of the toxin, into the cytosol of the cells where they exert cytotoxic effects. The anthrax toxin delivery system has been well characterized. The amino-terminal PrAg-binding domain of LF (residues 1–254, LFn) is sufficient to allow translocation of fused “passenger” polypeptides, such as the ADP-ribosylation domain of Pseudomonas exotoxin A, to the cytosol of the cells in a PrAg-dependent process. The protease specificity of the anthrax toxin delivery system can also be reengineered by replacing the furin cleavage target sequence of PrAg with other protease substrate sequences. PrAg-U2 is such a PrAg variant, one that is selectively activated by urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA). The uPA-dependent proteolytic activation of PrAg-U2 on the cell surface is readily detected by Western blotting analysis of cell lysates in vitro, or cell or animal death in vivo. Here we describe the use of PrAg-U2 as a molecular reporter tool to test the controversial question of what components are required for uPAR-mediated cell surface pro-uPA activation. The results demonstrate that both uPAR and plasminogen play critical roles in pro-uPA activation both in vitro and in vivo. PMID:19377974

  5. Cardiovascular effects of toxins isolated from the cnidarian Chironex fleckeri Southcott.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, S E; Turner, R J

    1971-01-01

    1. Two unstable high molecular weight toxins have been isolated from tentacles of Chironex fleckeri by exclusion chromatography. Both are cardiotoxic; the lower molecular weight fraction is also a potent haemolysin.2. Both toxins reduce the rate, amplitude of contraction and coronary flow in the isolated, perfused guinea-pig heart. Relative to the mouse lethal dose the haemolytic fraction is less potent in this preparation than the purely cardiotoxic fraction.3. Both toxins cause a rise in arterial pressure in anaesthetized rats and rabbits by a direct action on the vascular musculature. This is followed by hypotension, bradycardia and cardiac irregularity. An increase in respiratory rate is followed by apnoea of variable duration, which is associated with a rise in arterial pressure. Animals frequently show arterial pressure oscillations with periods of apnoea interspersed with hyperpnoea.4. The carotid occlusion reflex is depressed during hypotensive periods after both toxins, although (-)-noradrenaline can still elicit a marked pressor response. Bilateral cervical vagotomy has but little effect on the response to either toxin, save to prevent hyperpnoea, but radical denervation of sinoaortic afferents reduces the arterial pressure fall after the initial hypertensive response, suggesting that this fall is due to a combination of baroreceptor stimulation and a fall in cardiac output. Blood pressure oscillations are still seen, possibly due to central stimulation by hypercapnia.5. Interference with the efferent arm of the vasomotor reflex arc with hexamethonium, bretylium or phenoxybenzamine either abolishes or markedly reduces the blood pressure oscillations without affecting the initial hypertensive response.6. The cardiovascular effects of the two toxins are thought to be due to direct vasoconstriction, cardiotoxicity, baroreceptor stimulation and possibly depression of the vasomotor centre. The resultant disordering of the feed-back system regulating vasomotor

  6. Alleged lethal sorcery in East Timor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollanen, Michael S

    2004-01-01

    A wide range of cultural and social perspectives exists on the concept of sudden and unexpected death. In countries, without a formal system of death investigation, sudden death is shrouded in mysticism often based on traditional belief systems. This cultural perspective on sudden death is often at variance with medical and forensic concepts and may include explanations such as sorcery, magic, and voodoo. In this case report, the postmortem findings in an alleged victim of lethal 'black magic', known as ema halo by the indigenous people of East Timor, is described. The alleged victim died suddenly in front of witnesses. At autopsy, marked dilation of a bicuspid aortic valve with annuloaortic ectasia and a sinus of Valsalva aneurysm was found after exhumation of the body. The findings mitigated the local belief in witchcraft and established a natural manner of death.

  7. Lethal photosensitization of biofilm-grown bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Michael

    1997-12-01

    Antibacterial agents are increasingly being used for the prophylaxis and treatment of oral diseases. As these agents can be rendered ineffective by resistance development in the target organisms there is a need to develop alternative antimicrobial approaches. Light-activated antimicrobial agents release singlet oxygen and free radicals which can kill adjacent bacteria and a wide range of cariogenic and periodontopathogenic bacteria has been shown to be susceptible to such agents. In the oral cavity these organisms are present as biofilms (dental plaques) which are less susceptible to traditional antimicrobial agents than bacterial suspensions. The results of these studies have shown that biofilm-grown oral bacteria are also susceptible to lethal photosensitization although the light energy doses required are grater than those needed to kill the organisms when they are grown as aqueous suspensions.

  8. Drug facilitated sexual assault with lethal outcome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mehling, Lena-Maria; Johansen, Sys Stybe; Wang, Xin

    2016-01-01

    A very serious case of DFSA (drug facilitated sexual assault) is presented, in which a six-year-old girl died following sedation with γ-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). She had been sexually abused by a relative. Samples of cardiac blood, bile, vitreous humour, liver, kidney, brain tissues and hair were...... segments of hair - up to 12 cm distant from the hair scalp - GHB concentrations were higher than the overall found endogenous range of 2-3 ng/mg. Police investigations revealed that the uncle had also administered GHB to the older half-sister. Therefore, a sample of her hair was analysed accordingly......, but unremarkable results were obtained. Comparing our toxicological results with police investigations and the offender's statements it can be assumed that the 6-year-old girl had ingested GHB. By exclusion of other causes of death a lethal intoxication with GHB could be confirmed....

  9. Nemertean toxin genes revealed through transcriptome sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whelan, Nathan V; Kocot, Kevin M; Santos, Scott R; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2014-11-27

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63-74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  10. Modelling staphylococcal pneumonia in a human 3D lung tissue model system delineates toxin-mediated pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srikanth Mairpady Shambat

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus necrotizing pneumonia is recognized as a toxin-mediated disease, yet the tissue-destructive events remain elusive, partly as a result of lack of mechanistic studies in human lung tissue. In this study, a three-dimensional (3D tissue model composed of human lung epithelial cells and fibroblasts was used to delineate the role of specific staphylococcal exotoxins in tissue pathology associated with severe pneumonia. To this end, the models were exposed to the mixture of exotoxins produced by S. aureus strains isolated from patients with varying severity of lung infection, namely necrotizing pneumonia or lung empyema, or to purified toxins. The necrotizing pneumonia strains secreted high levels of α-toxin and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL, and triggered high cytotoxicity, inflammation, necrosis and loss of E-cadherin from the lung epithelium. In contrast, the lung empyema strain produced moderate levels of PVL, but negligible amounts of α-toxin, and triggered limited tissue damage. α-toxin had a direct damaging effect on the epithelium, as verified using toxin-deficient mutants and pure α-toxin. Moreover, PVL contributed to pathology through the lysis of neutrophils. A combination of α-toxin and PVL resulted in the most severe epithelial injury. In addition, toxin-induced release of pro-inflammatory mediators from lung tissue models resulted in enhanced neutrophil migration. Using a collection of 31 strains from patients with staphylococcal pneumonia revealed that strains producing high levels of α-toxin and PVL were cytotoxic and associated with fatal outcome. Also, the strains that produced the highest toxin levels induced significantly greater epithelial disruption. Of importance, toxin-mediated lung epithelium destruction could be inhibited by polyspecific intravenous immunoglobulin containing antibodies against α-toxin and PVL. This study introduces a novel model system for study of staphylococcal pneumonia in a

  11. Modelling staphylococcal pneumonia in a human 3D lung tissue model system delineates toxin-mediated pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mairpady Shambat, Srikanth; Chen, Puran; Nguyen Hoang, Anh Thu; Bergsten, Helena; Vandenesch, Francois; Siemens, Nikolai; Lina, Gerard; Monk, Ian R; Foster, Timothy J; Arakere, Gayathri; Svensson, Mattias; Norrby-Teglund, Anna

    2015-11-01

    Staphylococcus aureus necrotizing pneumonia is recognized as a toxin-mediated disease, yet the tissue-destructive events remain elusive, partly as a result of lack of mechanistic studies in human lung tissue. In this study, a three-dimensional (3D) tissue model composed of human lung epithelial cells and fibroblasts was used to delineate the role of specific staphylococcal exotoxins in tissue pathology associated with severe pneumonia. To this end, the models were exposed to the mixture of exotoxins produced by S. aureus strains isolated from patients with varying severity of lung infection, namely necrotizing pneumonia or lung empyema, or to purified toxins. The necrotizing pneumonia strains secreted high levels of α-toxin and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), and triggered high cytotoxicity, inflammation, necrosis and loss of E-cadherin from the lung epithelium. In contrast, the lung empyema strain produced moderate levels of PVL, but negligible amounts of α-toxin, and triggered limited tissue damage. α-toxin had a direct damaging effect on the epithelium, as verified using toxin-deficient mutants and pure α-toxin. Moreover, PVL contributed to pathology through the lysis of neutrophils. A combination of α-toxin and PVL resulted in the most severe epithelial injury. In addition, toxin-induced release of pro-inflammatory mediators from lung tissue models resulted in enhanced neutrophil migration. Using a collection of 31 strains from patients with staphylococcal pneumonia revealed that strains producing high levels of α-toxin and PVL were cytotoxic and associated with fatal outcome. Also, the strains that produced the highest toxin levels induced significantly greater epithelial disruption. Of importance, toxin-mediated lung epithelium destruction could be inhibited by polyspecific intravenous immunoglobulin containing antibodies against α-toxin and PVL. This study introduces a novel model system for study of staphylococcal pneumonia in a human setting. The

  12. Induction of neutralizing antibodies in mice immunized with scorpion toxins detoxified by liposomal entrapment

    OpenAIRE

    1997-01-01

    The possibility of producing neutralizing antibodies against the lethal effects of scorpion toxins was evaluated in the mouse model by immunization with an immunogen devoid of toxicity. A toxic fraction (5 mg) from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus was entrapped in sphingomyelin-cholesterol liposomes. The liposomes were treated for 1 h at 37oC with a 1% (w/w) trypsin solution in 0.2 M sodium carbonate buffer, pH 8.3. This treatment led to a strong reduction in venom toxicity. Immuni...

  13. A pharmacological study of the toxin in a Cnidarian, Chironex fleckeri Southcott.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, S E; Turner, R J

    1969-03-01

    1. A study has been made of the pharmacological actions of toxic preparations obtained from the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri Southcott. Two toxin preparations were used. One was a tentacle extract which was partially purified by Sephadex gel filtration; the second was obtained by a process analogous to snake milking, and is probably similar in composition to the material injected into victims.2. All preparations were extremely toxic; death in animals, following minimally lethal doses, occurred in minutes. Respiratory arrest of central origin appeared to be the terminal event in all species tested. This was accompanied by marked signs of cardiotoxicity. The heart was slowed, irregular, and showed varying degrees of conduction delay. Terminally it showed atrioventricular block.3. Blood pressure changes were biphasic. An initial rise in carotid pressure was followed by a profound fall; a second rise to an above normal level frequently followed this. These blood pressure oscillations were damped down by prior treatment with hexamethonium but the hypertensive response remained.4. Blood samples taken before terminal apnoea showed a variable degree of haemolysis and a raised K(+) level.5. Experiments with isolated organ preparations suggested that the toxin had a non-specific lytic effect on cells, but did not contain pharmacologically active substances of small molecular weight such as 5-hydroxytryptamine.6. It is suggested that the toxin(s) act by altering membrane permeability; the signs at death may reflect the sensitivity of the target organs to such a change.

  14. Utility of Clostridium difficile toxin B for inducing anti-tumor immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Tuxiong; Li, Shan; Li, Guangchao; Tian, Yuan; Wang, Haiying; Shi, Lianfa; Perez-Cordon, Gregorio; Mao, Li; Wang, Xiaoning; Wang, Jufang; Feng, Hanping

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium difficile toxin B (TcdB) is a key virulence factor of bacterium and induces intestinal inflammatory disease. Because of its potent cytotoxic and proinflammatory activities, we investigated the utility of TcdB in developing anti-tumor immunity. TcdB induced cell death in mouse colorectal cancer CT26 cells, and the intoxicated cells stimulated the activation of mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells and subsequent T cell activation in vitro. Immunization of BALB/c mice with toxin-treated CT26 cells elicited potent anti-tumor immunity that protected mice from a lethal challenge of the same tumor cells and rejected pre-injected tumors. The anti-tumor immunity generated was cell-mediated, long-term, and tumor-specific. Further experiments demonstrated that the intact cell bodies were important for the immunogenicity since lysing the toxin-treated tumor cells reduced their ability to induce antitumor immunity. Finally, we showed that TcdB is able to induce potent anti-tumor immunity in B16-F10 melanoma model. Taken together, these data demonstrate the utility of C. difficile toxin B for developing anti-tumor immunity.

  15. Partial Agonist and Antagonist Activities of a Mutant Scorpion β-Toxin on Sodium Channels*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karbat, Izhar; Ilan, Nitza; Zhang, Joel Z.; Cohen, Lior; Kahn, Roy; Benveniste, Morris; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A.; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion β-toxin 4 from Centruroides suffusus suffusus (Css4) enhances the activation of voltage-gated sodium channels through a voltage sensor trapping mechanism by binding the activated state of the voltage sensor in domain II and stabilizing it in its activated conformation. Here we describe the antagonist and partial agonist properties of a mutant derivative of this toxin. Substitution of seven different amino acid residues for Glu15 in Css4 yielded toxin derivatives with both increased and decreased affinities for binding to neurotoxin receptor site 4 on sodium channels. Css4E15R is unique among this set of mutants in that it retained nearly normal binding affinity but lost its functional activity for modification of sodium channel gating in our standard electrophysiological assay for voltage sensor trapping. More detailed analysis of the functional effects of Css4E15R revealed weak voltage sensor trapping activity, which was very rapidly reversed upon repolarization and therefore was not observed in our standard assay of toxin effects. This partial agonist activity of Css4E15R is observed clearly in voltage sensor trapping assays with brief (5 ms) repolarization between the conditioning prepulse and the test pulse. The effects of Css4E15R are fit well by a three-step model of toxin action involving concentration-dependent toxin binding to its receptor site followed by depolarization-dependent activation of the voltage sensor and subsequent voltage sensor trapping. Because it is a partial agonist with much reduced efficacy for voltage sensor trapping, Css4E15R can antagonize the effects of wild-type Css4 on sodium channel activation and can prevent paralysis by Css4 when injected into mice. Our results define the first partial agonist and antagonist activities for scorpion toxins and open new avenues of research toward better understanding of the structure-function relationships for toxin action on sodium channel voltage sensors and toward potential toxin

  16. Partial agonist and antagonist activities of a mutant scorpion beta-toxin on sodium channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karbat, Izhar; Ilan, Nitza; Zhang, Joel Z; Cohen, Lior; Kahn, Roy; Benveniste, Morris; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael

    2010-10-01

    potential toxin-based therapeutics to prevent lethality from scorpion envenomation.

  17. Certhrax Toxin, an Anthrax-related ADP-ribosyltransferase from Bacillus cereus*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visschedyk, Danielle; Rochon, Amanda; Tempel, Wolfram; Dimov, Svetoslav; Park, Hee-Won; Merrill, A. Rod

    2012-01-01

    We identified Certhrax, the first anthrax-like mART toxin from the pathogenic G9241 strain of Bacillus cereus. Certhrax shares 31% sequence identity with anthrax lethal factor from Bacillus anthracis; however, we have shown that the toxicity of Certhrax resides in the mART domain, whereas anthrax uses a metalloprotease mechanism. Like anthrax lethal factor, Certhrax was found to require protective antigen for host cell entry. This two-domain enzyme was shown to be 60-fold more toxic to mammalian cells than anthrax lethal factor. Certhrax localizes to distinct regions within mouse RAW264.7 cells by 10 min postinfection and is extranuclear in its cellular location. Substitution of catalytic residues shows that the mART function is responsible for the toxicity, and it binds NAD+ with high affinity (KD = 52.3 ± 12.2 μm). We report the 2.2 Å Certhrax structure, highlighting its structural similarities and differences with anthrax lethal factor. We also determined the crystal structures of two good inhibitors (P6 (KD = 1.7 ± 0.2 μm, Ki = 1.8 ± 0.4 μm) and PJ34 (KD = 5.8 ± 2.6 μm, Ki = 9.6 ± 0.3 μm)) in complex with Certhrax. As with other toxins in this family, the phosphate-nicotinamide loop moves toward the NAD+ binding site with bound inhibitor. These results indicate that Certhrax may be important in the pathogenesis of B. cereus. PMID:22992735

  18. Certhrax toxin, an anthrax-related ADP-ribosyltransferase from Bacillus cereus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visschedyk, Danielle; Rochon, Amanda; Tempel, Wolfram; Dimov, Svetoslav; Park, Hee-Won; Merrill, A Rod

    2012-11-30

    We identified Certhrax, the first anthrax-like mART toxin from the pathogenic G9241 strain of Bacillus cereus. Certhrax shares 31% sequence identity with anthrax lethal factor from Bacillus anthracis; however, we have shown that the toxicity of Certhrax resides in the mART domain, whereas anthrax uses a metalloprotease mechanism. Like anthrax lethal factor, Certhrax was found to require protective antigen for host cell entry. This two-domain enzyme was shown to be 60-fold more toxic to mammalian cells than anthrax lethal factor. Certhrax localizes to distinct regions within mouse RAW264.7 cells by 10 min postinfection and is extranuclear in its cellular location. Substitution of catalytic residues shows that the mART function is responsible for the toxicity, and it binds NAD(+) with high affinity (K(D) = 52.3 ± 12.2 μM). We report the 2.2 Å Certhrax structure, highlighting its structural similarities and differences with anthrax lethal factor. We also determined the crystal structures of two good inhibitors (P6 (K(D) = 1.7 ± 0.2 μM, K(i) = 1.8 ± 0.4 μM) and PJ34 (K(D) = 5.8 ± 2.6 μM, K(i) = 9.6 ± 0.3 μM)) in complex with Certhrax. As with other toxins in this family, the phosphate-nicotinamide loop moves toward the NAD(+) binding site with bound inhibitor. These results indicate that Certhrax may be important in the pathogenesis of B. cereus.

  19. Differentiation of lethal and non lethal prostate cancer:PSA and PSA isoforms and kinetics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    H Ballentine Carter

    2012-01-01

    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer has led to a decrease in cancer mortality.However,the high prevalence of low-grade prostate cancer and its long natural history,competing causes of death in older men and treatment patterns of prostate cancer,have led to dramatic overtreatment of the disease.Improved markers of prostate cancer lethality are needed to reduce the overtreatment of prostate cancer that leads to a reduced quality of life without extending life for a high proportion of men.The PSA level prior to treatment is routinely used in multivariable models to predict prostate cancer aggressiveness.PSA isoforms and PSA kinetics have been associated with more aggressive phenotypes,but are not routinely employed as part of prediction tools prior to treatment.PSA kinetics is a valuable marker of lethality post treatment and routinely used in determining the need for salvage therapy.

  20. Effects of lethal and non-lethal malaria on the mononuclear phagocyte system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Eduardo Tosta

    1983-03-01

    Full Text Available The effects ofone non-lethal species ofmalarialparasite, Plasmodium yoelii, and one lethal species, P. berghei, on the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS of BALB/c mice were studied. P. yoelii caused a greater and more sustained expansion and activation of the MPS, and the two major populations of spleen phagocytic cells-red pulp and marginal zone macrophages - exhibited a greater increase in numbers in this infection. During the course of P. berghei mataria, the spleen was progressively occupied by haematopoietic tissue and, at the terminal stage of infection, an extensive depletion of lymphocytes and macrophages was apparent. The possibility was suggested that the outcome of mataria may be inftuenced by the particular way the parasite interacts with the MPS.

  1. Mutation Induced Extinction in Finite Populations: Lethal Mutagenesis and Lethal Isolation

    OpenAIRE

    C Scott Wylie; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2012-01-01

    Reproduction is inherently risky, in part because genomic replication can introduce new mutations that are usually deleterious toward fitness. This risk is especially severe for organisms whose genomes replicate “semi-conservatively,” e.g. viruses and bacteria, where no master copy of the genome is preserved. Lethal mutagenesis refers to extinction of populations due to an unbearably high mutation rate (U), and is important both theoretically and clinically, where drugs can extinguish pathoge...

  2. Vocal aging and adductor spasmodic dysphonia: Response to botulinum toxin injection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P Cannito

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Michael P Cannito, Joel C Kahane, Lesya ChornaSchool of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USAAbstract: Aging of the larynx is characterized by involutional changes which alter its biomechanical and neural properties and create a biological environment that is different from younger counterparts. Illustrative anatomical examples are presented. This natural, non-disease process appears to set conditions which may influence the effectiveness of botulinum toxin injection and our expectations for its success. Adductor spasmodic dysphonia, a type of laryngeal dystonia, is typically treated using botulinum toxin injections of the vocal folds in order to suppress adductory muscle spasms which are disruptive to production of speech and voice. A few studies have suggested diminished response to treatment in older patients with adductor spasmodic dysphonia. This retrospective study provides a reanalysis of existing pre-to-post treatment data as function of age. Perceptual judgments of speech produced by 42 patients with ADSD were made by two panels of professional listeners with expertise in voice or fluency of speech. Results demonstrate a markedly reduced positive response to botulinum toxin treatment in the older patients. Perceptual findings are further elucidated by means of acoustic spectrography. Literature on vocal aging is reviewed to provide a specific set of biological mechanisms that best account for the observed interaction of botulinum toxin treatment with advancing age.Keywords: vocal aging, adductor spasmodic dysphonia, botulinum toxin, voice quality, speech fluency

  3. Antioxidant effect of minocycline in gingival epithelium induced by Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans serotype B toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernie Maduratna Setiawati

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans (Aa serotype B has been associated with aggressive periodontitis. Gingival epithelial cell is exquisitely sensitive to the toxin and may lead to the epithel protective barrier disruption. Experimental models show that minocycline is not related to it’s antimicrobial effect and protection against neuron cell apoptosis of a number experimental models of brain injury and Parkinson’s disease. Purpose: This study, examined antioxidant effect of minocycline to inhibit apoptosis of gingival epithelium induced crude toxin bacteria Aa serotype B in mice. Methods: Thirty adult mice strain Swiss Webster (balb C were divided randomly into three groups: control group (group A, toxin group (group B and toxin and minocycline group (group C. The mice were taken at 24 hours after application, and then the tissue sections of gingival epithelium were stained with tunnel assay and immunohistochemistry. Result: Treatment with these toxin induced apoptosis of gingival epithelium and was associated with DNA fragmentation and reduced gluthatione (GSH. Minocycline 100 nM significantly increased GSH and reduced apoptosis (p < 0.05. Minocycline provides antioxidant effect against citotoxicity of bacteria Aa serotipe B. Conclusion: Nanomolar concentration of minocycline potential as new therapeutic agent to prevent progressivity of aggressiveness of periodontitis.

  4. A High-Throughput, Precipitating Colorimetric Sandwich ELISA Microarray for Shiga Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Gehring

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2 from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC bacteria were simultaneously detected with a newly developed, high-throughput antibody microarray platform. The proteinaceous toxins were immobilized and sandwiched between biorecognition elements (monoclonal antibodies and pooled horseradish peroxidase (HRP-conjugated monoclonal antibodies. Following the reaction of HRP with the precipitating chromogenic substrate (metal enhanced 3,3-diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride or DAB, the formation of a colored product was quantitatively measured with an inexpensive flatbed page scanner. The colorimetric ELISA microarray was demonstrated to detect Stx1 and Stx2 at levels as low as ~4.5 ng/mL within ~2 h of total assay time with a narrow linear dynamic range of ~1–2 orders of magnitude and saturation levels well above background. Stx1 and/or Stx2 produced by various strains of STEC were also detected following the treatment of cultured cells with mitomycin C (a toxin-inducing antibiotic and/or B-PER (a cell-disrupting, protein extraction reagent. Semi-quantitative detection of Shiga toxins was demonstrated to be sporadic among various STEC strains following incubation with mitomycin C; however, further reaction with B-PER generally resulted in the detection of or increased detection of Stx1, relative to Stx2, produced by STECs inoculated into either axenic broth culture or culture broth containing ground beef.

  5. ATP Depletion Via Mitochondrial F1F0 Complex by Lethal Factor is an Early Event in B. Anthracis-Induced Sudden Cell Death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitchell W. Woodberry

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis’ primary virulence factor is a tripartite anthrax toxin consisting of edema factor (EF, lethal factor (LF and protective antigen (PA. In complex with PA, EF and LF are internalized via receptor-mediated endocytosis. EF is a calmodulin- dependent adenylate cyclase that induces tissue edema. LF is a zinc-metalloprotease that cleaves members of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases. Lethal toxin (LT: PA plus LF-induced death of macrophages is primarily attributed to expression of the sensitive Nalp1b allele, inflammasome formation and activation of caspase-1, but early events that initiate these processes are unknown. Here we provide evidence that an early essential event in pyroptosis of alveolar macrophages is LF-mediated depletion of cellular ATP. The underlying mechanism involves interaction of LF with F1F0-complex gamma and beta subunits leading to increased ATPase activity in mitochondria. In support, mitochondrial DNA-depleted MH-S cells have decreased F1F0 ATPase activity due to the lack of F06 and F08 polypeptides and show increased resistance to LT. We conclude that ATP depletion is an important early event in LT-induced sudden cell death and its prevention increases survival of toxin-sensitive cells.

  6. Disruptive Space Technology

    OpenAIRE

    Benson, Jim

    2004-01-01

    In 1997 "The Innovator’s Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen became a popular book in the small satellite and launch vehicle communities. But like the weather, every one talks about “Disruptive Technology” but few do anything about it. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, people were looking for “Paradigm Shifts,” and since the resurrection of Donald Rumsfeld, a recent watchword has been “Transformational Technology.” But today’s buzzword is now “Responsive Space Systems.”

  7. Disruption - Access cards service

    CERN Multimedia

    2014-01-01

    We would like to inform you that between 10 November and 15 December 2014, the access cards service in Building 55 will be disrupted, as the GS Department has decided to improve the facilities for users of this building. During the work, you will find the registration, biometric registration and dosimeter exchange services on the second floor of Building 55 and the vehicle sticker service on the ground floor along with the access cards service. We thank you for your understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  8. Celibacy and Family Disruption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emaletdinov B. M.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Causes for celibacy, divorces and successful marriage are discussed in the article. Absence of true love and inability to build and keep it are the main reasons for family disruption. Amorousness, immature love and various forms of false or flawed love substitute the true feeling. It is caused by increased women’s independence, loss of mutual understanding and trust (due to infidelity or jealousy, incompatibility of characters or values. Celibacy is often conditioned by physical disability, revaluation of freedom and independence, huge requirements to partners, consumer attitude to life, infertility, alcohol and drug abuse, abnormalities in personality and sexuality.

  9. Manuel's asteroid disruption technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Manuel; Ipe, Abraham; Jacob, Ivan

    2015-06-01

    A seventy-year-old male presented with dense asteroid hyalosis in both eyes. He had undergone cataract extraction in one eye 3 years ago, and the other eye had immature cataract. Both the autorefractor and dilated streak retinoscopy did not give readings and subjective visual improvement could not be achieved. Immediately following YAG posterior capsulotomy and anterior vitreous asteroid disruption, the vision improved to 20/20 with recordable auto refractor and streak retinoscopy values. Our initial experience indicates that the treatment is simple, safe and effective but needs controlled and prospective studies to confirm its long-term safety.

  10. Syn-lethality: an integrative knowledge base of synthetic lethality towards discovery of selective anticancer therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xue-juan; Mishra, Shital K; Wu, Min; Zhang, Fan; Zheng, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic lethality (SL) is a novel strategy for anticancer therapies, whereby mutations of two genes will kill a cell but mutation of a single gene will not. Therefore, a cancer-specific mutation combined with a drug-induced mutation, if they have SL interactions, will selectively kill cancer cells. While numerous SL interactions have been identified in yeast, only a few have been known in human. There is a pressing need to systematically discover and understand SL interactions specific to human cancer. In this paper, we present Syn-Lethality, the first integrative knowledge base of SL that is dedicated to human cancer. It integrates experimentally discovered and verified human SL gene pairs into a network, associated with annotations of gene function, pathway, and molecular mechanisms. It also includes yeast SL genes from high-throughput screenings which are mapped to orthologous human genes. Such an integrative knowledge base, organized as a relational database with user interface for searching and network visualization, will greatly expedite the discovery of novel anticancer drug targets based on synthetic lethality interactions. The database can be downloaded as a stand-alone Java application.

  11. Toxins-antitoxins: diversity, evolution and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Finbarr; Van Melderen, Laurence

    2011-10-01

    Genes for toxin-antitoxin (TA) complexes are widespread in prokaryote genomes, and species frequently possess tens of plasmid and chromosomal TA loci. The complexes are categorized into three types based on genetic organization and mode of action. The toxins universally are proteins directed against specific intracellular targets, whereas the antitoxins are either proteins or small RNAs that neutralize the toxin or inhibit toxin synthesis. Within the three types of complex, there has been extensive evolutionary shuffling of toxin and antitoxin genes leading to considerable diversity in TA combinations. The intracellular targets of the protein toxins similarly are varied. Numerous toxins, many of which are sequence-specific endoribonucleases, dampen protein synthesis levels in response to a range of stress and nutritional stimuli. Key resources are conserved as a result ensuring the survival of individual cells and therefore the bacterial population. The toxin effects generally are transient and reversible permitting a set of dynamic, tunable responses that reflect environmental conditions. Moreover, by harboring multiple toxins that intercede in protein synthesis in response to different physiological cues, bacteria potentially sense an assortment of metabolic perturbations that are channeled through different TA complexes. Other toxins interfere with the action of topoisomersases, cell wall assembly, or cytoskeletal structures. TAs also play important roles in bacterial persistence, biofilm formation and multidrug tolerance, and have considerable potential both as new components of the genetic toolbox and as targets for novel antibacterial drugs.

  12. 40 CFR 798.5450 - Rodent dominant lethal assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Rodent dominant lethal assay. 798.5450 Section 798.5450 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES... lethality, high pregnancy frequency and high implant numbers are recommended. (ii) Age. Healthy,...

  13. Exfoliative Toxins of Staphylococcus aureus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Bukowski

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen of humans and livestock. It causes a diverse array of diseases, ranging from relatively harmless localized skin infections to life-threatening systemic conditions. Among multiple virulence factors, staphylococci secrete several exotoxins directly associated with particular disease symptoms. These include toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1, enterotoxins, and exfoliative toxins (ETs. The latter are particularly interesting as the sole agents responsible for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS, a disease predominantly affecting infants and characterized by the loss of superficial skin layers, dehydration, and secondary infections. The molecular basis of the clinical symptoms of SSSS is well understood. ETs are serine proteases with high substrate specificity, which selectively recognize and hydrolyze desmosomal proteins in the skin. The fascinating road leading to the discovery of ETs as the agents responsible for SSSS and the characterization of the molecular mechanism of their action, including recent advances in the field, are reviewed in this article.

  14. Botulinum Toxin in Pediatric Neurology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eman M. I. Moawad MD

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins are natural molecules produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria called Clostradium boltulinum. The toxin has a peculiar mechanism of action by preventing the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane. Consequently, it has been used in the treatment of various neurological conditions related to muscle hyperactivity and/or spasticity. Also, it has an impact on the autonomic nervous system by acting on smooth muscle, leading to its use in the management of pain syndromes. The use of botulinum toxin in children separate from adults has received very little attention in the literature. This review presents the current data on the use of botulinum neurotoxin to treat various neurological disorders in children.

  15. Shiga Toxin Therapeutics: Beyond Neutralization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Hall

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Ribotoxic Shiga toxins are the primary cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS in patients infected with Shiga toxin-producing enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (STEC, a pathogen class responsible for epidemic outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease around the globe. HUS is a leading cause of pediatric renal failure in otherwise healthy children, resulting in a mortality rate of 10% and a chronic morbidity rate near 25%. There are currently no available therapeutics to prevent or treat HUS in STEC patients despite decades of work elucidating the mechanisms of Shiga toxicity in sensitive cells. The preclinical development of toxin-targeted HUS therapies has been hindered by the sporadic, geographically dispersed nature of STEC outbreaks with HUS cases and the limited financial incentive for the commercial development of therapies for an acute disease with an inconsistent patient population. The following review considers potential therapeutic targeting of the downstream cellular impacts of Shiga toxicity, which include the unfolded protein response (UPR and the ribotoxic stress response (RSR. Outcomes of the UPR and RSR are relevant to other diseases with large global incidence and prevalence rates, thus reducing barriers to the development of commercial drugs that could improve STEC and HUS patient outcomes.

  16. Shiga Toxin Therapeutics: Beyond Neutralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Gregory; Kurosawa, Shinichiro; Stearns-Kurosawa, Deborah J.

    2017-01-01

    Ribotoxic Shiga toxins are the primary cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in patients infected with Shiga toxin-producing enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (STEC), a pathogen class responsible for epidemic outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease around the globe. HUS is a leading cause of pediatric renal failure in otherwise healthy children, resulting in a mortality rate of 10% and a chronic morbidity rate near 25%. There are currently no available therapeutics to prevent or treat HUS in STEC patients despite decades of work elucidating the mechanisms of Shiga toxicity in sensitive cells. The preclinical development of toxin-targeted HUS therapies has been hindered by the sporadic, geographically dispersed nature of STEC outbreaks with HUS cases and the limited financial incentive for the commercial development of therapies for an acute disease with an inconsistent patient population. The following review considers potential therapeutic targeting of the downstream cellular impacts of Shiga toxicity, which include the unfolded protein response (UPR) and the ribotoxic stress response (RSR). Outcomes of the UPR and RSR are relevant to other diseases with large global incidence and prevalence rates, thus reducing barriers to the development of commercial drugs that could improve STEC and HUS patient outcomes. PMID:28925976

  17. Bacterial protein toxins in human cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosadi, Francesca; Fiorentini, Carla; Fabbri, Alessia

    2016-02-01

    Many bacteria causing persistent infections produce toxins whose mechanisms of action indicate that they could have a role in carcinogenesis. Some toxins, like CDT and colibactin, directly attack the genome by damaging DNA whereas others, as for example CNF1, CagA and BFT, impinge on key eukaryotic processes, such as cellular signalling and cell death. These bacterial toxins, together with other less known toxins, mimic carcinogens and tumour promoters. The aim of this review is to fulfil an up-to-date analysis of toxins with carcinogenic potential that have been already correlated to human cancers. Bacterial toxins-induced carcinogenesis represents an emerging aspect in bacteriology, and its significance is increasingly recognized.

  18. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of five pesticides used in rice farming on the earthworm Eisenia fetida

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rico, Andreu; Sabater, Consuelo; Castillo, María Ángeles

    2016-01-01

    The toxicity of five pesticides typically used in rice farming (trichlorfon, dimethoate, carbendazim, tebuconazole and prochloraz) was evaluated on different lethal and sub-lethal endpoints of the earthworm Eisenia fetida. The evaluated endpoints included: avoidance behaviour after an exposure pe

  19. Bacillus cereus Certhrax ADP-ribosylates vinculin to disrupt focal adhesion complexes and cell adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Nathan C; Barbieri, Joseph T

    2014-04-11

    Bacillus cereus is often associated with mild to moderate gastroenteritis; however, some recent isolates cause inhalational anthrax-like diseases and death. These potential emerging human pathogens express multiple virulence factors. B. cereus strain G9241 expresses anthrax toxin, several polysaccharide capsules, and the novel ADP-ribosyltransferase, Certhrax. In this study, we show that Certhrax ADP-ribosylates Arg-433 of vinculin, a protein that coordinates actin cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix interactions. ADP-ribosylation of vinculin disrupted focal adhesion complexes and redistributed vinculin to the cytoplasm. Exogenous vinculin rescued these phenotypes. This provides a mechanism for strain G9241 to breach host barrier defenses and promote bacterial growth and spread. Certhrax is the first bacterial toxin to add a post-translational modification to vinculin to disrupt the actin cytoskeleton.

  20. Alpha-conotoxin ImI disrupts central control of swimming in the medicinal leech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagenaar, Daniel A; Gonzalez, Ruben; Ries, David C; Kristan, William B; French, Kathleen A

    2010-11-26

    Medicinal leeches (Hirudo spp.) swim using a metachronal, front-to-back undulation. The behavior is generated by central pattern generators (CPGs) distributed along the animal's midbody ganglia and is coordinated by both central and peripheral mechanisms. Here we report that a component of the venom of Conus imperialis, α-conotoxin ImI, known to block nicotinic acetyl-choline receptors in other species, disrupts swimming. Leeches injected with the toxin swam in circles with exaggerated dorsoventral bends and reduced forward velocity. Fictive swimming in isolated nerve cords was even more strongly disrupted, indicating that the toxin targets the CPGs and central coordination, while peripheral coordination partially rescues the behavior in intact animals. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Isolation and primary structure of a potent toxin from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pete, M J; Conlon, J M; Murphy, R F

    1992-12-01

    A potent toxin has been purified from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing using the ion-exchange resin CM-Sepharose CL-6B at basic pH. The toxin, designated CsE M1, comprised 65 amino acid residues and its primary structure was established as: Lys-Glu-Gly-Tyr-Leu-Val-Asn-Ser-Tyr-Thr10-Gly-Cys-Lys-Tyr-Glu-Cys- Leu-Lys-Leu- Gly20-Asp-Asn-Asp-Tyr-Cys-Leu-Arg-Glu-Cys-Arg30-Gln-Gln-Tyr- Gly-Lys-Ser-Gly-Gly - Tyr-Cys40-Tyr-Ala-Phe-Ala-Cys-Trp-Cys-Thr-His-Leu50-Tyr-Glu- Gln-Ala-Val-Val-Trp - Pro-Leu-Pro60-Asn-Lys-Thr-Cys-Asn. CsE M1 is the most lethal protein to be identified in C. sculpturatus venom and the LD50 of the toxin, determined by subcutaneous injection into Swiss mice, is 87 micrograms/kg. CsE M1 shows strong structural similarity (92% positional identity) to the most potent beta-toxin, Css II, from the Mexican scorpion, Centruroides suffusus suffusus but is quite dissimilar to the previously characterized toxins with low potency isolated from C. sculpturatus Ewing.

  2. Selectivity and self-assembly in the control of a bacterial toxin by an antitoxic noncoding RNA pseudoknot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Francesca L; Pei, Xue Y; Blower, Tim R; Ong, Shue-Li; Fineran, Peter C; Luisi, Ben F; Salmond, George P C

    2013-01-15

    Bacterial small RNAs perform numerous regulatory roles, including acting as antitoxic components in toxin-antitoxin systems. In type III toxin-antitoxin systems, small processed RNAs directly antagonize their toxin protein partners, and in the systems characterized the toxin and antitoxin components together form a trimeric assembly. In the present study, we sought to define how the RNA antitoxin, ToxI, inhibits its potentially lethal protein partner, ToxN. We show through cross-inhibition experiments with the ToxIN systems from Pectobacterium atrosepticum (ToxIN(Pa)) and Bacillus thuringiensis (ToxIN(Bt)) that ToxI RNAs are highly selective enzyme inhibitors. Both systems have an "addictive" plasmid maintenance phenotype. We demonstrate that ToxI(Pa) can inhibit ToxN(Pa) in vitro both in its processed form and as a repetitive precursor RNA, and this inhibition is linked to the self-assembly of the trimeric complex. Inhibition and self-assembly are both mediated entirely by the ToxI(Pa) RNA, with no requirement for cellular factors or exogenous energy. Finally, we explain the origins of ToxI antitoxin selectivity through our crystal structure of the ToxIN(Bt) complex. Our results show how a processed RNA pseudoknot can inhibit a deleterious protein with exquisite molecular specificity and how these self-contained and addictive RNA-protein pairs can confer different adaptive benefits in their bacterial hosts.

  3. Mtx toxins synergize Bacillus sphaericus and Cry11Aa against susceptible and insecticide-resistant Culex quinquefasciatus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Margaret C; Yang, Yangkun; Walton, William E; Federici, Brian A; Berry, Colin

    2007-10-01

    Two mosquitocidal toxins (Mtx) of Bacillus sphaericus, which are produced during vegetative growth, were investigated for their potential to increase toxicity and reduce the expression of insecticide resistance through their interactions with other mosquitocidal proteins. Mtx-1 and Mtx-2 were fused with glutathione S-transferase and produced in Escherichia coli, after which lyophilized powders of these fusions were assayed against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. Both Mtx proteins showed a high level of activity against susceptible C. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, with 50% lethal concentrations (LC(50)) of Mtx-1 and Mtx-2 of 0.246 and 4.13 microg/ml, respectively. The LC(50)s were 0.406 to 0.430 microg/ml when Mtx-1 or Mtx-2 was mixed with B. sphaericus, and synergy improved activity and reduced resistance levels. When the proteins were combined with a recombinant Bacillus thuringiensis strain that produces Cry11Aa, the mixtures were highly active against Cry11A-resistant larvae and resistance was also reduced. The mixture of two Mtx toxins and B. sphaericus was 10 times more active against susceptible mosquitoes than B. sphaericus alone, demonstrating the influence of relatively low concentrations of these toxins. These results show that, similar to Cyt toxins from B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, Mtx toxins can increase the toxicity of other mosquitocidal proteins and may be useful for both increasing the activity of commercial bacterial larvicides and managing potential resistance to these substances among mosquito populations.

  4. Perfringolysin O: the underrated Clostridium perfringens toxin?

    OpenAIRE

    Stefanie Verherstraeten; Evy Goossens; Bonnie Valgaeren; Bart Pardon; Leen Timbermont; Freddy Haesebrouck; Richard Ducatelle; Piet Deprez; Kristin R. Wade; Rodney Tweten; Filip Van Immerseel

    2015-01-01

    The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens expresses multiple toxins that promote disease development in both humans and animals. One such toxin is perfringolysin O (PFO, classically referred to as theta toxin), a pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC). PFO is secreted as a water-soluble monomer that recognizes and binds membranes via cholesterol. Membrane-bound monomers undergo structural changes that culminate in the formation of an oligomerized prepore complex on the membr...

  5. Rho-modifying bacterial protein toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Rho proteins are targets of numerous bacterial protein toxins, which manipulate the GTP-binding proteins by covalent modifications, including ADP ribosylation, glycosylation, adenylylation, proteolytic cleavage and deamidation. Bacterial toxins are important virulence factors but are also potent and efficient pharmacological tools to study the physiological functions of their eukaryotic targets. Recent studies indicate that amazing variations exist in the molecular mechanisms by which toxins attack Rho proteins, which are discussed here.

  6. Cell disruption for microalgae biorefineries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günerken, E; D'Hondt, E; Eppink, M H M; Garcia-Gonzalez, L; Elst, K; Wijffels, R H

    2015-01-01

    Microalgae are a potential source for various valuable chemicals for commercial applications ranging from nutraceuticals to fuels. Objective in a biorefinery is to utilize biomass ingredients efficiently similarly to petroleum refineries in which oil is fractionated in fuels and a variety of products with higher value. Downstream processes in microalgae biorefineries consist of different steps whereof cell disruption is the most crucial part. To maintain the functionality of algae biochemicals during cell disruption while obtaining high disruption yields is an important challenge. Despite this need, studies on mild disruption of microalgae cells are limited. This review article focuses on the evaluation of conventional and emerging cell disruption technologies, and a comparison thereof with respect to their potential for the future microalgae biorefineries. The discussed techniques are bead milling, high pressure homogenization, high speed homogenization, ultrasonication, microwave treatment, pulsed electric field treatment, non-mechanical cell disruption and some emerging technologies.

  7. Tumor clone dynamics in lethal prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreira, Suzanne; Romanel, Alessandro; Goodall, Jane; Grist, Emily; Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Miranda, Susana; Prandi, Davide; Lorente, David; Frenel, Jean-Sebastien; Pezaro, Carmel; Omlin, Aurelius; Rodrigues, Daniel Nava; Flohr, Penelope; Tunariu, Nina; S de Bono, Johann; Demichelis, Francesca; Attard, Gerhardt

    2014-09-17

    It is unclear whether a single clone metastasizes and remains dominant over the course of lethal prostate cancer. We describe the clonal architectural heterogeneity at different stages of disease progression by sequencing serial plasma and tumor samples from 16 ERG-positive patients. By characterizing the clonality of commonly occurring deletions at 21q22, 8p21, and 10q23, we identified multiple independent clones in metastatic disease that are differentially represented in tissue and circulation. To exemplify the clinical utility of our studies, we then showed a temporal association between clinical progression and emergence of androgen receptor (AR) mutations activated by glucocorticoids in about 20% of patients progressing on abiraterone and prednisolone or dexamethasone. Resistant clones showed a complex dynamic with temporal and spatial heterogeneity, suggesting distinct mechanisms of resistance at different sites that emerged and regressed depending on treatment selection pressure. This introduces a management paradigm requiring sequential monitoring of advanced prostate cancer patients with plasma and tumor biopsies to ensure early discontinuation of agents when they become potential disease drivers.

  8. Antiradiation Antitoxin IgG : Immunological neutralization of Radiation Toxins at Acute Radiation Syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    radiation toxins to induce hyperimmune serum: Group A -Toxoid form of CV ARS toxins ( SRD-1); Group B-Toxoid form of CR ARS (SRD-2)toxins ; Group C -Toxoid form of GI ARS (SRD-3); Group D -Toxoid form of HP ARS (SRD-4). After the hyperimmune serum was pooled from several animals, purified, and concentrated, the IgG fraction was separated. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of the hyper-immune serum had revealed high titers of IgG with specific binding to radi-ation toxins. The antiradiation IgG preparation was injected into laboratory animals one hour before and three hours after irradiation, and was evaluated for its ability to protect inoculated animals against the development of acute radiation syndromes. Results: Animals that were inoculated with specific antiradiation antibodies before and after receiving lethal irradiation at LD 100/30 exhibited 60-75% survival rate within 30 days. Also, these animals inoculated with the Antiradiation Antitoxin had exhibited markedly reduced clinical symptoms of the ARS, even those ones that did not survive irradiation. Discussion: The results of our experiments have demonstrated that the rabbit hyperimmune IgG preparations directed against SRD toxins provide a significant protection against high doses of radiation. In comparison, the mortality rate of irradiated control animals was 100% in the same time period. The mortality rates of animals treated by the hyperimmune IgG antidote have varied in the different groups of ani-mals and different forms of the ARS. However, significant radioprotection was observed in each group treated with the IgGs. The specific antiradiation antidote IGg isolated from hyperim-mune serum of immunized horses is under study. The specific antiradiation antidote contains antibodies to neurotoxins -SAAN IgG includes 50% IgG to Cv ARS, 25% IgG to Cr ARS and 25 % IgG to Gi ARS. The other type of the Specific antiradiation antidote containes antibodies to hematotoxins -SAAH IgG -100%. A combined variant is under

  9. Natural toxins and their therapeutic potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapoor, V K

    2010-03-01

    Plants have been extensively investigated for exploring their therapeutic potentials, but there are comparatively scanty reports on drugs derived from animal kingdom, except for hormones. During last decade, the toxins that are used for defense by the animals, have been isolated and found useful tools for physiological and pharmacological studies, besides giving valuable leads to drug development. Toxins with interesting results have been isolated from the venoms of snakes, scorpions, spiders, snails, lizards, frogs and fish. The present review describe about some toxins as drugs and their biological activities. Some fungal, bacterial and marine toxins have also been covered in this article.

  10. Application of botulinum toxin in pain management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Woo Seog

    2011-03-01

    Botulinum toxin has been used for the treatment of many clinical disorders by producing temporary skeletal muscle relaxation. In pain management, botulinum toxin has demonstrated an analgesic effect by reducing muscular hyperactivity, but recent studies suggest this neurotoxin could have direct analgesic mechanisms different from its neuromuscular actions. At the moment, botulinum toxin is widely investigated and used in many painful diseases such as myofascial syndrome, headaches, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Further studies are needed to understand the exact analgesic mechanisms, efficacy and complications of botulinum toxin in chronic pain disorders.

  11. Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... This list is not all-inclusive. Alternative Names Anemia - hemolytic - caused by chemicals or toxins References Michel M. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Schafer ...

  12. Sustainable Disruption Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vaaben, Bo Valdemar

    an increasingly expensive resource, and it is being consumed in vast amounts by the transportation industry. The single largest expense for both airlines and shipping companies is fuel, which exceeds both labour costs and capital expenditure. This thesis addresses how fuel considerations can be taken into account...... management fits in to the larger scope of optimization related processes in an airline and provides a brief survey of these. The thesis goes into more detail with disruption management and does as its main contribution describe how this can be combined with flight planning. Flight planning is the calculation...... of the horizontal and vertical flight path, which an aircraft should follow in order to get from airport A to airport B. The objective of this calculation is typically to minimize fuel consumption, while satisfying airspace regulations. To the knowledge of the author the work in this thesis represents the first...

  13. Endocrine disrupters as obesogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grün, Felix; Blumberg, Bruce

    2009-05-25

    The recent dramatic rise in obesity rates is an alarming global health trend that consumes an ever increasing portion of health care budgets in Western countries. The root cause of obesity is thought to be a prolonged positive energy balance. Hence, the major focus of preventative programs for obesity has been to target overeating and inadequate physical exercise. Recent research implicates environmental risk factors, including nutrient quality, stress, fetal environment and pharmaceutical or chemical exposure as relevant contributing influences. Evidence points to endocrine disrupting chemicals that interfere with the body's adipose tissue biology, endocrine hormone systems or central hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as suspects in derailing the homeostatic mechanisms important to weight control. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the molecular targets and mechanisms of action for these compounds and areas of future research needed to evaluate the significance of their contribution to obesity.

  14. Difference in F-Actin Depolymerization Induced by Toxin B from the Clostridium difficile Strain VPI 10463 and Toxin B from the Variant Clostridium difficile Serotype F Strain 1470

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harald Genth

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium difficile toxin A (TcdA and toxin B (TcdB are the causative agent of the C. difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD and its severe form, the pseudomembranous colitis (PMC. TcdB from the C. difficile strain VPI10463 mono-glucosylates (thereby inactivates the small GTPases Rho, Rac, and Cdc42, while Toxin B from the variant C. difficile strain serotype F 1470 (TcdBF specifically mono-glucosylates Rac but not Rho(A/B/C. TcdBF is related to lethal toxin from C. sordellii (TcsL that glucosylates Rac1 but not Rho(A/B/C. In this study, the effects of Rho-inactivating toxins on the concentrations of cellular F-actin were investigated using the rhodamine-phalloidin-based F-actin ELISA. TcdB induces F-actin depolymerization comparable to the RhoA-inactivating exoenzyme C3 from C. limosum (C3-lim. In contrast, the Rac-glucosylating toxins TcdBF and TcsL did not cause F-actin depolymerization. These observations led to the conclusion that F-actin depolymerization depends on the toxin’s capability of glucosylating RhoA. Furthermore, the integrity of focal adhesions (FAs was analyzed using paxillin and p21-activated kinase (PAK as FA marker proteins. Paxillin dephosphorylation was observed upon treatment of cells with TcdB, TcdBF, or C3-lim. In conclusion, the Rho-inactivating toxins induce loss of cell shape by either F-actin depolymerization (upon RhoA inactivation or the disassembly of FAs (upon Rac1 inactivation.

  15. Selective disruption of PPARγ2 impairs the development of adipose tissue and insulin sensitivity

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Jifeng; Fu, Mingui; Cui, Taixing; Xiong, Chen; Xu, Kefeng; Zhong,Wei; Xiao, Yan; Floyd, Donna; Liang, Jian; Li, En; Song, Qing; Chen, Yuqing E.

    2004-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a nuclear receptor that plays a pivotal role in obesity and diabetes. PPARγ has two isoforms, PPARγ1 and PPARγ2. We investigated the functional differences between PPARγ1 and PPARγ2 by selectively disrupting PPARγ2 in mice. In contrast to the embryonic lethality of PPARγ-deficient mice, PPARγ2-/- mice survived. Although normal development was identified in other tissues we examined, PPARγ2-/- mice exhibited an overall reduction in white ...

  16. Lethal and sub lethal effects of the biocide chlorhexidine on aquatic organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesus, Fátima T; Oliveira, Rhaul; Silva, Andreia; Catarino, Ana L; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Nogueira, António J A; Domingues, Inês

    2013-11-01

    Chlorhexidine is among the most used biocides in Europe, however its toxicity to aquatic organisms is scarcely known. The main objective of this study was to assess the lethal and sub lethal effects of chlorhexidine digluconate (ChD) on four aquatic model organisms: the bacteria Vibrio fischeri, the algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, the crustacean Daphnia magna and the embryos of the fish Danio rerio. ChD was very toxic to algae and crustaceans, with a 72 h-EC50 of 62.2 μg/l and a 48 h-EC50 of 45.0 μg/l, respectively. Toxicity to fish embryos and the bacteria was lower, with a 96 h-EC50 of 804.0 μg/l and a 15 min-EC50 of 1,694.0 μg/l, respectively. Concerning sub lethal effects on D. magna (feeding inhibition) a 6 h-EC50 of 503.7 μg/l was obtained. In fish, ChD caused developmental abnormalities, namely alterations in the amniotic fluid (48 h-EC20 of 753.6 μg/l) and early hatching. Moreover, enzymatic biomarkers on fish embryos showed an induction of cholinesterase activity in all ChD tested concentrations (80-900 μg/l). The catalase activity was also induced at the highest concentration tested (900 μg/l) whereas no changes were observed for glutathione-S-transferase and lactate dehydrogenase activities. The toxicity of ChD to the algae and crustacean raises concerns about its potential effects in aquatic food webs, since these organisms are in the base of trophic chains, and highlights the need for further studies on ChD toxicity to aquatic organisms.

  17. The characteristics of railway service disruption: implications for disruption management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golightly, D; Dadashi, N

    2017-03-01

    Rail disruption management is central to operational continuity and customer satisfaction. Disruption is not a unitary phenomenon - it varies by time, cause, location and complexity of coordination. Effective, user-centred technology for rail disruption must reflect this variety. A repertory grid study was conducted to elicit disruption characteristics. Construct elicitation with a group of experts (n = 7) captured 26 characteristics relevant to rail disruption. A larger group of operational staff (n = 28) rated 10 types of rail incident against the 26 characteristics. The results revealed distinctions such as business impact and public perception, and the importance of management of the disruption over initial detection. There were clear differences between those events that stop the traffic, as opposed to those that only slow the traffic. The results also demonstrate the utility of repertory grid for capturing the characteristics of complex work domains. Practitioner Summary: The aim of the paper is to understand how variety in rail disruption influences socio-technical design. It uses repertory grid to identify and prioritise 26 constructs, and group 10 disruption types, identifying critical factors such as whether an incident stops or merely slows the service, and business reputation.

  18. Time course of programmed cell death, which included autophagic features, in hybrid tobacco cells expressing hybrid lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Naoya; Nihei, Saori; Miyakawa, Naoto; Hirasawa, Tadashi; Kanekatsu, Motoki; Marubashi, Wataru; van Doorn, Wouter G; Yamada, Tetsuya

    2016-12-01

    PCD with features of vacuolar cell death including autophagy-related features were detected in hybrid tobacco cells, and detailed time course of features of vacuolar cell death were established. A type of interspecific Nicotiana hybrid, Nicotiana suaveolens × N. tabacum exhibits temperature-sensitive lethality. This lethality results from programmed cell death (PCD) in hybrid seedlings, but this PCD occurs only in seedlings and suspension-cultured cells grown at 28 °C, not those grown at 36 °C. Plant PCD can be classified as vacuolar cell death or necrotic cell death. Induction of autophagy, vacuolar membrane collapse and actin disorganization are each known features of vacuolar cell death, but observed cases of PCD showing all these features simultaneously are rare. In this study, these features of vacuolar cell death were evident in hybrid tobacco cells expressing hybrid lethality. Ion leakage, plasma membrane disruption, increased activity of vacuolar processing enzyme, vacuolar membrane collapse, and formation of punctate F-actin foci were each evident in these cells. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that macroautophagic structures formed and tonoplasts ruptured in these cells. The number of cells that contained monodansylcadaverine (MDC)-stained structures and the abundance of nine autophagy-related gene transcripts increased just before cell death at 28 °C; these features were not evident at 36 °C. We assessed whether an autophagic inhibitor, wortmannin (WM), influenced lethality in hybrid cells. After the hybrid cell began to die, WM suppressed increases in ion leakage and cell deaths, and it decreased the number of cells containing MDC-stained structures. These results showed that several features indicative of autophagy and vacuolar cell death were evident in the hybrid tobacco cells subject to lethality. In addition, we documented a detailed time course of these vacuolar cell death features.

  19. Cognitive Inhibition in Elderly High-Lethality Suicide Attempters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard-Devantoy, Stéphane; Szanto, Katalin; Butters, Meryl A.; Kalkus, Jan; Dombrovski, Alexandre Y.

    2014-01-01

    Background People who attempt suicide often display cognitive impairments, particularly poor cognitive control. Could poor cognitive control contribute to high suicide rates in old age? A component of cognitive control, cognitive inhibition – active suppression of task-irrelevant processing – is very sensitive to aging and has been linked to attempted suicide. We investigated cognitive inhibition in older high-lethality suicide attempters, closely resembling suicide victims, as well as low-lethality attempters, and control groups with and without depression and suicidal ideation. Methods 102 participants aged 60+ (17 psychiatrically healthy control subjects, 38 depressed control subjects, 16 suicide ideators, 14 low-lethality suicide attempters, and 17 high-lethality suicide attempters) underwent comprehensive clinical and cognitive assessments. They completed the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System Color-Word Interference Test, a validated modification of the Stroop test. Results High-lethality suicide attempters demonstrated a distinct pattern of cognitive inhibition deficits. Compared to psychiatrically healthy control subjects and suicide ideators, high-lethality attempters took longer to complete inhibition trials, even after accounting for potential confounding factors (age, education, MMSE score, information processing speed, and accuracy). Compared to non-suicidal depressed and healthy control subjects, low-lethality suicide attempters committed more uncorrected errors; however, this difference was not specific to the inhibition condition. Conclusions Older suicide attempters are a cognitively heterogeneous group. Poor cognitive control in high-lethality attempters may undermine their ability to solve real-life problems, precipitating a catastrophic accumulation of stressors. Meanwhile, low-lethality attempters' poor performance may reflect a careless approach to the task or faulty monitoring. PMID:24816626

  20. Are high-lethality suicide attempters with bipolar disorder a distinct phenotype?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oquendo, Maria A; Carballo, Juan Jose; Rajouria, Namita; Currier, Dianne; Tin, Adrienne; Merville, Jessica; Galfalvy, Hanga C; Sher, Leo; Grunebaum, Michael F; Burke, Ainsley K; Mann, J John

    2009-01-01

    Because Bipolar Disorder (BD) individuals making highly lethal suicide attempts have greater injury burden and risk for suicide, early identification is critical. BD patients were classified as high- or low-lethality attempters. High-lethality attempts required inpatient medical treatment. Mixed effects logistic regression models and permutation analyses examined correlations between lethality, number, and order of attempts. High-lethality attempters reported greater suicidal intent and more previous attempts. Multiple attempters showed no pattern of incremental lethality increase with subsequent attempts, but individuals with early high-lethality attempts more often made high-lethality attempts later. A subset of high-lethality attempters make only high-lethality attempts. However, presence of previous low-lethality attempts does not indicate that risk for more lethal, possibly successful, attempts is reduced.

  1. A hepatic protein, fetuin-A, occupies a protective role in lethal systemic inflammation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A liver-derived protein, fetuin-A, was first purified from calf fetal serum in 1944, but its potential role in lethal systemic inflammation was previously unknown. This study aims to delineate the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of hepatic fetuin-A expression during lethal systemic inflammation (LSI, and investigated whether alterations of fetuin-A levels affect animal survival, and influence systemic accumulation of a late mediator, HMGB1. METHODS AND FINDINGS: LSI was induced by endotoxemia or cecal ligation and puncture (CLP in fetuin-A knock-out or wild-type mice, and animal survival rates were compared. Murine peritoneal macrophages were challenged with exogenous (endotoxin or endogenous (IFN-γ stimuli in the absence or presence of fetuin-A, and HMGB1 expression and release was assessed. Circulating fetuin-A levels were decreased in a time-dependent manner, starting between 26 h, reaching a nadir around 24-48 h, and returning towards base-line approximately 72 h post onset of endotoxemia or sepsis. These dynamic changes were mirrored by an early cytokine IFN-γ-mediated inhibition (up to 50-70% of hepatic fetuin-A expression. Disruption of fetuin-A expression rendered animals more susceptible to LSI, whereas supplementation of fetuin-A (20-100 mg/kg dose-dependently increased animal survival rates. The protection was associated with a significant reduction in systemic HMGB1 accumulation in vivo, and parallel inhibition of IFN-γ- or LPS-induced HMGB1 release in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: These experimental data suggest that fetuin-A is protective against lethal systemic inflammation partly by inhibiting active HMGB1 release.

  2. Snake venomics of Crotalus tigris: the minimalist toxin arsenal of the deadliest Nearctic rattlesnake venom. Evolutionary Clues for generating a pan-specific antivenom against crotalid type II venoms [corrected].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvete, Juan J; Pérez, Alicia; Lomonte, Bruno; Sánchez, Elda E; Sanz, Libia

    2012-02-03

    We report the proteomic and antivenomic characterization of Crotalus tigris venom. This venom exhibits the highest lethality for mice among rattlesnakes and the simplest toxin proteome reported to date. The venom proteome of C. tigris comprises 7-8 gene products from 6 toxin families; the presynaptic β-neurotoxic heterodimeric PLA(2), Mojave toxin, and two serine proteinases comprise, respectively, 66 and 27% of the C. tigris toxin arsenal, whereas a VEGF-like protein, a CRISP molecule, a medium-sized disintegrin, and 1-2 PIII-SVMPs each represent 0.1-5% of the total venom proteome. This toxin profile really explains the systemic neuro- and myotoxic effects observed in envenomated animals. In addition, we found that venom lethality of C. tigris and other North American rattlesnake type II venoms correlates with the concentration of Mojave toxin A-subunit, supporting the view that the neurotoxic venom phenotype of crotalid type II venoms may be described as a single-allele adaptation. Our data suggest that the evolutionary trend toward neurotoxicity, which has been also reported for the South American rattlesnakes, may have resulted by pedomorphism. The ability of an experimental antivenom to effectively immunodeplete proteins from the type II venoms of C. tigris, Crotalus horridus , Crotalus oreganus helleri, Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus, and Sistrurus catenatus catenatus indicated the feasibility of generating a pan-American anti-Crotalus type II antivenom, suggested by the identification of shared evolutionary trends among South and North American Crotalus species.

  3. Full characterization of three toxins from the Androctonus amoreuxi scorpion venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Najwa; Legros, Christian; Ceard, Brigitte; Belghazi, Maya; Hamon, Alain; Bougis, Pierre E; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France

    2009-09-15

    In this study, we have characterized the immunological and pharmacological properties of the three major alpha-type toxins from the scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi, AamH1, AamH2 and AamH3, which were previously described as putative toxins from cDNAs [Chen, T. et al., 2003. Regul. Pept. 115, 115-121]. The immunological tests (ELISA, RIA) have demonstrated that AamH1, AamH2 and AamH3 belong to the immunological groups 3 and 4 of alpha-type toxins. Analysis of the three toxin effects on currents through rat brain (rNav1.2), rat muscle (rNav1.4) and Drosophila (DmNav1) sodium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes revealed that AamH1 and AamH2, but not AamH3, have anti-insect and anti-mammal activities and can be classified as alpha-like toxins. While AamH1 removes fast inactivation only in neuronal rNav1.2 channel and has no effect on muscular rNav1.4 channel, AamH2 affects both neuronal rNav1.2 and muscular rNav1.4 channels. AamH3 was lethal to mice by intracerebroventricular injection despite its lack of activity on the neuronal rNav1.2 channel. Finally, we have shown that the A. amoreuxi venom was better neutralized by the antiserum raised against the venom of Buthus occitanus tunetanus than by the antisera raised against scorpion venoms from the same genus Androctonus.

  4. Evaluation of the therapeutic use of botulinum toxin A in the periorbital region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Tawfik

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin blocks acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction causing paralysis that is reversed within 4 months. The toxin was well known for its lethal effect when ingested with food (botulism; however, it was found to be highly effective in various disorders, both cosmetic and noncosmetic. The therapeutic uses in ophthalmology include treatment of strabismus, spastic focal facial dystonias, induction of temporary ptosis in cases of lagophthalmos (chemotarsorrhaphy, temporary correction of dysthyroid upper eyelid retraction, suppression of lacrimal gland secretion to temporarily control gustatory lacrimation, some cases of obstructive epiphora and primary hyperlacrimation, and temporary correction of lower lid entropion. In this prospective study, we evaluate the results of using botulinum toxin A (botox injection in some periorbital pathologies namely, focal facial dystonias, lower lid entropion, lagophthalmos, and epiphora. Fifty patients were treated with botox (20 patients with focal facial dystonias, nine with lagophthalmos, eight with lower lid entropion, and 13 with epiphora, different techniques were used according to the pre-existing pathology, and the following data were recorded: age and sex, total dose for each injection, onset and duration of effect, degree of improvement, and the occurrence of any adverse effects. The study results supported the high efficacy of botulinum toxin for treatment of blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, lagophthalmos, lower lid entropion, and epiphora, with marked to moderate improvement in 99, 87.5, 55.5, 75, and 92.3% of patients, respectively. Few side effects occurred but they resolved spontaneously without residues. We concluded that botulinum toxin A is a safe and effective treatment with a temporary outcome that may be desirable in certain situations.

  5. Induction of neutralizing antibodies in mice immunized with scorpion toxins detoxified by liposomal entrapment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.G. Fonseca

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available The possibility of producing neutralizing antibodies against the lethal effects of scorpion toxins was evaluated in the mouse model by immunization with an immunogen devoid of toxicity. A toxic fraction (5 mg from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus was entrapped in sphingomyelin-cholesterol liposomes. The liposomes were treated for 1 h at 37oC with a 1% (w/w trypsin solution in 0.2 M sodium carbonate buffer, pH 8.3. This treatment led to a strong reduction in venom toxicity. Immunization was performed as follows: mice were injected sc with 20 µg of the liposome-entrapped toxic fraction on days 1 and 21 and a final injection (20 µg was administered ip on day 36. After injection of the immunogen, all mice developed an IgG response which was shown to be specific for the toxic antigen. The antibodies were measured 10 days after the end of the immunization protocol. In an in vitro neutralization assay we observed that pre-incubation of a lethal dose of the toxic fraction with immune serum strongly reduced its toxicity. In vivo protection assays showed that mice with anti-toxin antibodies could resist the challenge with the toxic fraction, which killed, 30 min after injection, all non-immune control mice

  6. Ecology meets cancer biology: the cancer swamp promotes the lethal cancer phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amend, Sarah R; Pienta, Kenneth J

    2015-01-01

    As they grow, tumors fundamentally alter their microenvironment, disrupting the homeostasis of the host organ and eventually the patient as a whole. Lethality is the ultimate result of deregulated cell signaling and regulatory mechanisms as well as inappropriate host cell recruitment and activity that lead to the death of the patient. These processes have striking parallels to the framework of ecological biology: multiple interacting ecosystems (organ systems) within a larger biosphere (body), alterations in species stoichiometry (host cell types), resource cycling (cellular metabolism and cell-cell signaling), and ecosystem collapse (organ failure and death). In particular, as cancer cells generate their own niche within the tumor ecosystem, ecological engineering and autoeutrophication displace normal cell function and result in the creation of a hypoxic, acidic, and nutrient-poor environment. This "cancer swamp" has genetic and epigenetic effects at the local ecosystem level to promote metastasis and at the systemic host level to induce cytokine-mediated lethal syndromes, a major cause of death of cancer patients.

  7. Acute Oral Toxicity of Tetrodotoxin in Mice: Determination of Lethal Dose 50 (LD50 and No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Abal

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Tetrodotoxin (TTX is starting to appear in molluscs from the European waters and is a hazard to seafood consumers. This toxin blocks sodium channels resulting in neuromuscular paralysis and even death. As a part of the risk assessment process leading to a safe seafood level for TTX, oral toxicity data are required. In this study, a 4-level Up and Down Procedure was designed in order to determine for the first time the oral lethal dose 50 (LD50 and the No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL in mice by using an accurate well-characterized TTX standard.

  8. Acute Oral Toxicity of Tetrodotoxin in Mice: Determination of Lethal Dose 50 (LD50) and No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abal, Paula; Louzao, M. Carmen; Antelo, Alvaro; Alvarez, Mercedes; Cagide, Eva; Vilariño, Natalia; Vieytes, Mercedes R.; Botana, Luis M.

    2017-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is starting to appear in molluscs from the European waters and is a hazard to seafood consumers. This toxin blocks sodium channels resulting in neuromuscular paralysis and even death. As a part of the risk assessment process leading to a safe seafood level for TTX, oral toxicity data are required. In this study, a 4-level Up and Down Procedure was designed in order to determine for the first time the oral lethal dose 50 (LD50) and the No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) in mice by using an accurate well-characterized TTX standard. PMID:28245573

  9. Synthesis and biology of cyclic imine toxins, an emerging class of potent, globally distributed marine toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stivala, Craig E; Benoit, Evelyne; Aráoz, Rómulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei; Molgó, Jordi; Zakarian, Armen

    2015-03-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day.

  10. Staphylococcus hyicus exfoliative toxin: Purification and demonstration of antigenic diversity among toxins from virulent strains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Lars Ole; Bille-Hansen, Vivi; Wegener, Henrik Caspar

    1997-01-01

    of 0.5 mM CuSO4 to the purified toxin resulted in more intense skin alterations comparable to lesions caused by precipitated culture supernatant diluted 1:10. These results indicated that the activity of the exfoliative toxin was dependent on the presence of Cu2+. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies...... were prepared against the exfoliative toxin from strain 1289D-88. The in vivo activity of the exfoliative toxin could be neutralized by antibodies. It was shown that polyclonal as well as monoclonal antibodies only reacted with the toxin produced by two of nine well-defined virulent strains of S...

  11. Production of Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha in Human T Lymphocytes by Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B Correlates with Toxin-Induced Proliferation and Is Regulated through Protein Kinase C

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-12-01

    molecules. Immunol. Rev. 131:43-59. Chatila, T., N. Wood, J. Parsonnet, and R. S. Geha. 1988. Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 induces inositol phospholipid...Dohlsten, U. Andersson, G. Hedlund, P. Ericsson, J. Hans- son, and H. O. Sjogren . 1990. Production of TNF-alpha and TNF-beta by staphylococcal... syndrome . Immunobiology 189:270-284. 33. Miethke, T., C. Wahl, K. Heeg, B. Echtenacher, P. H. Krammer, and H. Wagner. 1992. T cell-mediated lethal

  12. Lethal and sub-lethal responses of native freshwater mussels exposed to granular Bayluscide®, a sea lamprey larvicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Teresa; Boogaard, Michael A.; Gray, Brian R.; Hubert, Terrance D.; Schloesser, Nicholas

    2017-01-01

    The invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) poses a substantial threat to fish communities in the Great Lakes. Efforts to control sea lamprey populations typically involve treating tributary streams with lampricides on a recurring cycle. The presence of a substantial population of larval sea lampreys in the aquatic corridor between Lakes Huron and Erie prompted managers to propose a treatment using the granular formulation of Bayluscide® that targets larval sea lampreys that reside in sediments. However, these treatments could cause adverse effects on native freshwater mussels—imperiled animals that also reside in sediments. We estimated the risk of mortality and sub-lethal effects among eight species of adult and sub-adult mussels exposed to Bayluscide® for durations up to 8 h to mimic field applications. Mortality was appreciable in some species, especially in sub-adults (range, 23–51%). The lethal and sub-lethal effects were positively associated with the duration of exposure in most species and life stage combinations. Estimates of the median time of exposure that resulted in lethal and sub-lethal effects suggest that sub-adults were often affected by Bayluscide® earlier than adults. Siphoning activity and burrowing position of mussels during exposure may have moderated the uptake of Bayluscide® and may have influenced lethal and sub-lethal responses. Given that the various species and life stages were differentially affected, it will be difficult to predict the effects of Bayluscide® treatments on mussels.

  13. Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Your Health Resources Drugs, Procedures & Devices Procedures & Devices Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms Drugs, Procedures & ...

  14. Sensitivity of cancer cells to truncated diphtheria toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Diphtheria toxin (DT has been utilized as a prospective anti-cancer agent for the targeted delivery of cytotoxic therapy to otherwise untreatable neoplasia. DT is an extremely potent toxin for which the entry of a single molecule into a cell can be lethal. DT has been targeted to cancer cells by deleting the cell receptor-binding domain and combining the remaining catalytic portion with targeting proteins that selectively bind to the surface of cancer cells. It has been assumed that "receptorless" DT cannot bind to and kill cells. In the present study, we report that "receptorless" recombinant DT385 is in fact cytotoxic to a variety of cancer cell lines. METHODS: In vitro cytotoxicity of DT385 was measured by cell proliferation, cell staining and apoptosis assays. For in vivo studies, the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM system was used to evaluate the effect of DT385 on angiogenesis. The CAM and mouse model system was used to evaluate the effect of DT385 on HEp3 and Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC tumor growth, respectively. RESULTS: Of 18 human cancer cell lines tested, 15 were affected by DT385 with IC(50 ranging from 0.12-2.8 microM. Furthermore, high concentrations of DT385 failed to affect growth arrested cells. The cellular toxicity of DT385 was due to the inhibition of protein synthesis and induction of apoptosis. In vivo, DT385 diminished angiogenesis and decreased tumor growth in the CAM system, and inhibited the subcutaneous growth of LLC tumors in mice. CONCLUSION: DT385 possesses anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor activity and may have potential as a therapeutic agent.

  15. Spo0A differentially regulates toxin production in evolutionarily diverse strains of Clostridium difficile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate E Mackin

    Full Text Available Clostridium difficile is an important pathogen of humans and animals, representing a significant global healthcare problem. The last decade has seen the emergence of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 and ribotype 078 isolates, associated with the onset of more severe disease and higher rates of morbidity and mortality. However, little is known about these isolates at the molecular level, partly due to difficulties in the genetic manipulation of these strains. Here we report the development of an optimised Tn916-mediated plasmid transfer system, and the use of this system to construct and complement spo0A mutants in a number of different C. difficile strain backgrounds. Spo0A is a global regulator known to control sporulation, but may also be involved in the regulation of potential virulence factors and other phenotypes. Recent studies have failed to elucidate the role of Spo0A in toxin A and toxin B production by C. difficile, with conflicting data published to date. In this study, we aimed to clarify the role of Spo0A in production of the major toxins by C. difficile. Through the construction and complementation of spo0A mutants in two ribotype 027 isolates, we demonstrate that Spo0A acts as a negative regulator of toxin A and toxin B production in this strain background. In addition, spo0A was disrupted and subsequently complemented in strain 630Δerm and, for the first time, in a ribotype 078 isolate, JGS6133. In contrast to the ribotype 027 strains, Spo0A does not appear to regulate toxin production in strain 630Δerm. In strain JGS6133, Spo0A appears to negatively regulate toxin production during early stationary phase, but has little effect on toxin expression during late stationary phase. These data suggest that Spo0A may differentially regulate toxin production in phylogenetically distinct C. difficile strain types. In addition, Spo0A may be involved in regulating some aspects of C. difficile motility.

  16. Spo0A differentially regulates toxin production in evolutionarily diverse strains of Clostridium difficile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackin, Kate E; Carter, Glen P; Howarth, Pauline; Rood, Julian I; Lyras, Dena

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium difficile is an important pathogen of humans and animals, representing a significant global healthcare problem. The last decade has seen the emergence of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 and ribotype 078 isolates, associated with the onset of more severe disease and higher rates of morbidity and mortality. However, little is known about these isolates at the molecular level, partly due to difficulties in the genetic manipulation of these strains. Here we report the development of an optimised Tn916-mediated plasmid transfer system, and the use of this system to construct and complement spo0A mutants in a number of different C. difficile strain backgrounds. Spo0A is a global regulator known to control sporulation, but may also be involved in the regulation of potential virulence factors and other phenotypes. Recent studies have failed to elucidate the role of Spo0A in toxin A and toxin B production by C. difficile, with conflicting data published to date. In this study, we aimed to clarify the role of Spo0A in production of the major toxins by C. difficile. Through the construction and complementation of spo0A mutants in two ribotype 027 isolates, we demonstrate that Spo0A acts as a negative regulator of toxin A and toxin B production in this strain background. In addition, spo0A was disrupted and subsequently complemented in strain 630Δerm and, for the first time, in a ribotype 078 isolate, JGS6133. In contrast to the ribotype 027 strains, Spo0A does not appear to regulate toxin production in strain 630Δerm. In strain JGS6133, Spo0A appears to negatively regulate toxin production during early stationary phase, but has little effect on toxin expression during late stationary phase. These data suggest that Spo0A may differentially regulate toxin production in phylogenetically distinct C. difficile strain types. In addition, Spo0A may be involved in regulating some aspects of C. difficile motility.

  17. [Axillary hyperhidrosis, botulinium A toxin treatment: Review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerico, C; Fernandez, J; Camuzard, O; Chignon-Sicard, B; Ihrai, T

    2016-02-01

    Injection of type A botulinum toxin in the armpits is a temporary treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis. This technique described in 1996 by Bushara et al., is known to be efficient and safe. The purpose of this article was to review the data concerning the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxin type A, and discuss the other treatment modalities for this socially disabling entity.

  18. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Ibanez

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  19. Tetra- versus Pentavalent Inhibitors of Cholera Toxin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fu, Ou; Pukin, Aliaksei V.; Quarles Van Ufford, Linda; Branson, Thomas R.; Thies-Weesie, Dominique M E; Turnbull, W. Bruce; Visser, Gerben M.; Pieters, Roland J.

    2015-01-01

    The five B-subunits (CTB5) of the Vibrio cholerae (cholera) toxin can bind to the intestinal cell surface so the entire AB5 toxin can enter the cell. Simultaneous binding can occur on more than one of the monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1) units present on the cell surface.

  20. Toxin-Antitoxin Battle in Bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cataudella, Ilaria

    This PhD thesis consists of three research projects revolving around the common thread of investigation of the properties and biological functions of Toxin-Antitoxin loci. Toxin-Antitoxin (TA) loci are transcriptionally regulated via an auto-inhibition mechanism called conditional cooperativity, ...

  1. Tetra- versus Pentavalent Inhibitors of Cholera Toxin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fu, Ou; Pukin, Aliaksei V.; Quarles Van Ufford, Linda; Branson, Thomas R.; Thies-Weesie, Dominique M E; Turnbull, W. Bruce; Visser, Gerben M.; Pieters, Roland J.

    2015-01-01

    The five B-subunits (CTB5) of the Vibrio cholerae (cholera) toxin can bind to the intestinal cell surface so the entire AB5 toxin can enter the cell. Simultaneous binding can occur on more than one of the monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1) units present on the cell surface.

  2. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  3. Botulinum toxin — therapeutic effect in cosmetology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morrison A.V.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This review presents the data from published literatures and the research works conducted by the authors about mechanisms of action of botulinum toxin and its use in the practical medicine (particularly in dermatology and cosmetology. Indications and contraindications of botulinum toxin use in cosmetology are also considered in this work.

  4. Stealth and mimicry by deadly bacterial toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yates, S.P.; Jørgensen, Rene; Andersen, Gregers Rom

    2006-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin and exotoxin A are well-characterized members of the ADP-ribosyltransferase toxin family that serve as virulence factors in the pathogenic bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  New high-resolution structural data of the Michaelis complex...

  5. Revealing the Achilles heel of bacterial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Jens-Michael

    2014-11-20

    In addition to having antimicrobial properties, defensins inactivate various structurally unrelated bacterial toxins by a yet unknown manner. In this issue of Immunity, Kudryashova et al. (2014b) provide insights into mechanisms by which human ?-defensins destabilize and inactivate bacterial toxins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. DETECTION OF BACTERIAL TOXINS WITH MONOSACCHARIDE ARRAYS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngundi, Miriam M.; Taitt, Chris R.; McMurry, Scott A.; Kahne, Daniel; Ligler, Frances S.

    2006-01-01

    A large number of bacterial toxins, viruses and bacteria target carbohydrate derivatives on the cell surface to attach to and gain entry into the cell. We report here the use of a monosaccharide-based array to detect protein toxins. The array-based technique provides the capability to perform simultaneous multianalyte analyses. Arrays of N-acetyl galactosamine (GalNAc) and N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) derivatives were immobilized on the surface of a planar waveguide and were used as receptors for protein toxins. These arrays were probed with fluorescently labeled bacterial cells and protein toxins. While Salmonella typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) did not bind to either of the monosaccharides, both cholera toxin and tetanus toxin bound to GalNAc and Neu5Ac. The results show that the binding of the toxins to the carbohydrates is density dependent and semi-selective. Both toxins were detectable at 100 ng/ml. PMID:15946840

  7. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects' vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  8. Toxin-Antitoxin Battle in Bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cataudella, Ilaria

    This PhD thesis consists of three research projects revolving around the common thread of investigation of the properties and biological functions of Toxin-Antitoxin loci. Toxin-Antitoxin (TA) loci are transcriptionally regulated via an auto-inhibition mechanism called conditional cooperativity, ...

  9. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-10-07

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species.

  10. Enhanced expression of the recombinant lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis by Fed-Batch culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, P; Sahai, V; Bhatnagar, R

    2001-07-27

    High cell density cultivation has been one of the most effective ways to increase cell as well as the product yields. The structural gene for the 90-kDa lethal factor (LF) isolated from Bacillus anthracis was expressed as fusion protein with 6x histidine residues under the transcriptional regulation of the T5 promoter in Escherichia coli. Various strategies were tried to scale up the expression of the recombinant lethal factor by bioprocess optimization using fed batch culture technique in a 14 litre fermentor. The media, a defined mixture of salts, trace elements, vitamins, etc. along with a specified carbon source was used for the growth. The pH of the media was maintained at 6.8 while the temperature was changed from 37 to 28 degrees C during the cultivation. During the growth and induction phases, the DO was maintained above 20% by automatic control of agitation. The specific growth rate was controlled by utilizing an exponential feeding profile determined from mass balance equations. As a result of control of specific growth rate at two different levels, there was about twenty five fold increase in biomass compared to the biomass in the shake flask. E. coli cells yielded a soluble cytosolic protein with an apparent molecular mass of 90 kDa. The protein was purified to homogeneity using metal chelate affinity chromatography, followed by anion exchange on FPLC using Mono-Q column. In solution, trypsin cleaved protective antigen bound to native and recombinant LF with comparable affinity. The recombinant LF resembled the LF purified from B. anthracis in the macrophage lysis assay, using a murine macrophage cell line J774A.1 sensitive to anthrax toxin. It was possible to achieve a yield of 50 mg of the purified protein from 1 litre culture broth. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  11. Fentanyl-Laced 'Norco' Is Lethal, Report Warns

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160158.html Fentanyl-Laced 'Norco' Is Lethal, Report Warns New street ... study involving the drug. The street drug combines fentanyl -- the synthetic opioid painkiller linked to the death ...

  12. New type of lethal short-limbed dwarfism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nairn, E.R.; Chapman, S.

    1989-05-01

    Details are presented of a most unusual osteo-chondrodysplasia which presents with lethal neonatal short-limbed dwarfism, defective ossification and nodular calcification with cartilage. The features resemble one case previously described in the literature.

  13. Perturbation of the hematopoietic system during embryonic liver development due to disruption of polyubiquitin gene Ubc in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Kwon-Yul; Park, Hyejin; Rossi, Derrick J; Weissman, Irving L; Kopito, Ron R

    2012-01-01

    Disruption of the polyubiquitin gene Ubc leads to a defect in fetal liver development, which can be partially rescued by increasing the amount of ubiquitin. However, it is still not known why Ubc is required for fetal liver development and the nature of the defective cell types responsible for embryonic lethality have not been characterized. In this study, we assessed the cause of embryonic lethality with respect to the fetal liver hematopoietic system. We found that Ubc was highly expressed in the embryonic liver, and the proliferation capacity of fetal liver cells was reduced in Ubc(-/-) embryos. Specifically, Ubc was most highly expressed in hematopoietic cells, and the proliferation capacity of hematopoietic cells was significantly impaired in Ubc(-/-) embryos. While hematopoietic cell and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) frequency was maintained in Ubc(-/-) embryos, the absolute number of these cells was diminished because of reduced total liver cell number in Ubc(-/-) embryos. Transplantations of fetal liver cells into lethally irradiated recipient mice by non-competitive and competitive reconstitution methods indicated that disruption of Ubc does not significantly impair the intrinsic function of fetal liver HSCs. These findings suggest that disruption of Ubc reduces the absolute number of HSCs in embryonic livers, but has no significant effect on the autonomous function of HSCs. Thus, the lethality of Ubc(-/-) embryos is not the result of intrinsic HSC failure.

  14. Disrupting Ethnography through Rhizoanalysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Masny

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This article interrogates principles of ethnography in education proposed by Mills and Morton: raw tellings, analytic pattern, vignette and empathy. This article adopts a position that is uncomfortable, unconventional and interesting. It involves a deterritorialization/ rupture of ethnography in education in order to reterritorialize a different concept: rhizoanalysis, a way to position theory and data that is multilayered, complex and messy. Rhizoanalysis, the main focus of this article is not a method. It is an approach to research conditioned by a reality in which Deleuze and Guattari disrupt representation, interpretation and subjectivity. In this article, Multiple Literacies Theory, a theoretical and practical framework, becomes a lens to examine a rhizomatic study of a Korean family recently arrived to Australia and attending English as a second language classes. Observations and interviews recorded the daily lives of the family. The vignettes were selected by reading data intensively and immanently through a process of palpation, an innovative approach to educational research. Rhizoanalysis proposes to abandon the given and invent different ways of thinking about and doing research and what might happen when reading data differently, intensively and immanently, through Multiple Literacies Theory. Rhizoanalysis, a game-changer in the way research can be conducted, affords a different lens to tackle issues in education through research.

  15. Measuring Immunoglobulin G Antibodies to Tetanus Toxin, Diphtheria Toxin, and Pertussis Toxin with Single-Antigen Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays and a Bead-Based Multiplex Assay▿

    OpenAIRE

    Reder, Sabine; Riffelmann, Marion; Becker, Christian; Wirsing von König, Carl Heinz

    2008-01-01

    Bead-based assay systems offer the possibility of measuring several specific antibodies in one sample simultaneously. This study evaluated a vaccine panel of a multianalyte system that measures antibodies to tetanus toxin, diphtheria toxin, and pertussis toxin (PT) from Bordetella pertussis. The antibody concentrations of human immunoglobulin G (IgG) to PT, tetanus toxin, and diphtheria toxin were measured in 123 serum pairs (total of 246 sera) from a vaccine study. The multianalyte bead assa...

  16. Clostridium botulinum Type E Toxins Bind to Caco-2 Cells by a Different Mechanism from That of Type A Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang,Kai

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Cultured Clostridium botulinum strains produce progenitor toxins designated as 12S, 16S, and 19S toxins. The 12S toxin consists of a neurotoxin (NTX, 7S and a non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNH. The 16S and 19S toxins are formed by conjugation of the 12S toxin with hemagglutinin (HA, and the 19S toxin is a dimer of the 16S toxin. Type A cultures produce all 3 of these progenitor toxins, while type E produces only the 12S toxin. The 7S toxin is cleaved into heavy (H and light (L chains by a protease(s in some strains, and the H chain has 2 domains, the N-terminus (Hn and C-terminus (Hc. It has been reported that type A toxins bind to the intestinal cells or cultured cells via either HA or Hc. In this study, we investigated the binding of type A and E toxins to Caco-2 cells using Western blot analysis. Both the type E 7S and 12S toxins bound to the cells, with the 7S toxin binding more strongly, whereas, in the type A strain, only the 16S/19S toxins showed obvious binding. Pre-incubation of the type E 7S toxin with IgG against recombinant type E Hc significantly inhibited the 7S toxin binding, indicating that Hc might be a main binding domain of the type E toxin.

  17. Interplay between toxin transport and flotillin localization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pust, Sascha; Dyve, Anne Berit; Torgersen, Maria L;

    2010-01-01

    The flotillin proteins are localized in lipid domains at the plasma membrane as well as in intracellular compartments. In the present study, we examined the importance of flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 for the uptake and transport of the bacterial Shiga toxin (Stx) and the plant toxin ricin and we...... investigated whether toxin binding and uptake were associated with flotillin relocalization. We observed a toxin-induced redistribution of the flotillins, which seemed to be regulated in a p38-dependent manner. Our experiments provide no evidence for a changed endocytic uptake of Stx or ricin in cells silenced...... for flotillin-1 or -2. However, the Golgi-dependent sulfation of both toxins was significantly reduced in flotillin knockdown cells. Interestingly, when the transport of ricin to the ER was investigated, we obtained an increased mannosylation of ricin in flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 knockdown cells. The toxicity...

  18. Immunotoxins: The Role of the Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David FitzGerald

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Immunotoxins are antibody-toxin bifunctional molecules that rely on intracellular toxin action to kill target cells. Target specificity is determined via the binding attributes of the chosen antibody. Mostly, but not exclusively, immunotoxins are purpose-built to kill cancer cells as part of novel treatment approaches. Other applications for immunotoxins include immune regulation and the treatment of viral or parasitic diseases. Here we discuss the utility of protein toxins, of both bacterial and plant origin, joined to antibodies for targeting cancer cells. Finally, while clinical goals are focused on the development of novel cancer treatments, much has been learned about toxin action and intracellular pathways. Thus toxins are considered both medicines for treating human disease and probes of cellular function.

  19. Stealth and mimicry by deadly bacterial toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yates, S.P.; Jørgensen, Rene; Andersen, Gregers Rom

    2006-01-01

    of the Pseudomonas toxin with an NAD+ analogue and eukaryotic elongation factor 2 have provided new insights into the mechanism of inactivation of protein synthesis caused by these protein factors.  Concomitantly, rigorous steady-state and stopped flow kinetic analyses of the toxin-catalyzed reaction, in combination......Diphtheria toxin and exotoxin A are well-characterized members of the ADP-ribosyltransferase toxin family that serve as virulence factors in the pathogenic bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  New high-resolution structural data of the Michaelis complex...... with inhibitor studies, has resulted in a quantum leap in our understanding of the mechanistic details of this deadly enzyme mechanism.  Furthermore, it is now apparent that these toxins use stealth and molecular mimicry in unleashing their toxic strategy within the infected host eukaryotic cell....

  20. Toxins and Secretion Systems of Photorhabdus luminescens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athina Rodou

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Photorhabdus luminescens is a nematode-symbiotic, gram negative, bioluminescent bacterium, belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae.Recent studies show the importance of this bacterium as an alternative source of insecticides, as well as an emerging human pathogen. Various toxins have been identified and characterized in this bacterium. These toxins are classified into four major groups: the toxin complexes (Tcs, the Photorhabdus insect related (Pir proteins, the “makes caterpillars floppy” (Mcf toxins and the Photorhabdus virulence cassettes (PVC; the mechanisms however of toxin secretion are not fully elucidated. Using bioinformatics analysis and comparison against the components of known secretion systems, multiple copies of components of all known secretion systems, except the ones composing a type IV secretion system, were identified throughout the entire genome of the bacterium. This indicates that Photorhabdus luminescens has all the necessary means for the secretion of virulence factors, thus it is capable of establishing a microbial infection.

  1. Toxins and secretion systems of Photorhabdus luminescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodou, Athina; Ankrah, Dennis O; Stathopoulos, Christos

    2010-06-01

    Photorhabdus luminescens is a nematode-symbiotic, gram negative, bioluminescent bacterium, belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. Recent studies show the importance of this bacterium as an alternative source of insecticides, as well as an emerging human pathogen. Various toxins have been identified and characterized in this bacterium. These toxins are classified into four major groups: the toxin complexes (Tcs), the Photorhabdus insect related (Pir) proteins, the "makes caterpillars floppy" (Mcf) toxins and the Photorhabdus virulence cassettes (PVC); the mechanisms however of toxin secretion are not fully elucidated. Using bioinformatics analysis and comparison against the components of known secretion systems, multiple copies of components of all known secretion systems, except the ones composing a type IV secretion system, were identified throughout the entire genome of the bacterium. This indicates that Photorhabdus luminescens has all the necessary means for the secretion of virulence factors, thus it is capable of establishing a microbial infection.

  2. Perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease presenting as hydrops fetalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    BenHamida, Emira; Ayadi, Imene; Ouertani, Ines; Chammem, Maroua; Bezzine, Ahlem; BenTmime, Riadh; Attia, Leila; Mrad, Ridha; Marrakchi, Zahra

    2015-01-01

    Perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease is very rare and is considered a variant of type 2 Gaucher disease that occurs in the neonatal period. The most distinct features of perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease are non-immune hydrops fetalis. Less common signs of the disease are hepatosplenomegaly, ichthyosis and arthrogryposis. We report a case of Gaucher's disease (type 2) diagnosed in a newborn who presented with Hydrops Fetalis.

  3. Testicular trauma secondary to less-lethal kinetic energy munitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavoussi, Parviz K; Hermans, Michael R

    2006-06-01

    Many cases of testicular trauma secondary to munitions have been reported. We report a case of a 37-year-old man who suffered testicular trauma as a result of a less-lethal munition projectile. With the advent, and increased use, of less-lethal munitions by the military and law enforcement agencies, more of these new subsets of genitourinary trauma patients who will require care are sure to result.

  4. Bacterial toxins and Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, Frederick

    2007-11-15

    The primary pathogenetic mechanism responsible for the distinctive demyelinating lesions in the Central Nervous System (CNS) in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), first described in remarkable detail by Charcot more than 170 years ago, remains one of the most baffling conundrums in medicine. A possible role for bacterial cell molecules and transportable proteins in the pathogenesis of MS is reviewed. The ability of bacterial toxins to distort immunity and to cause distinctive toxic damage in the nervous system is discussed in the light of largely forgotten data linking bacterial nasopharyngeal infections with optic neuritis, optochiasmatic arachnoiditis and MS. While the blood-brain barrier substantially protects the CNS from hematogenous toxins, there is a route by which the barrier may be by-passed. Data is reviewed which shows that the CSF and extra-cellular fluid circulation is bi-directionally linked to the lymphatic drainage channels of the nasopharyngeal mucosa. While this provides a facility by which the CNS may mount immunological responses to antigenic challenges from within, it is also a route by which products of nasopharyngeal infection may drain into the CNS and be processed by the immune cells of the meninges and Virchow-Robin perivascular spaces. If potentially toxic bacterial products are identified in early MS tissues at these sites, this would provide an entirely new insight into the pathogenetic mechanisms of this frustratingly enigmatic disease.

  5. Neutralization of Bacterial YoeBSpn Toxicity and Enhanced Plant Growth in Arabidopsis thaliana via Co-Expression of the Toxin-Antitoxin Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fauziah Abu Bakar

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA systems have various cellular functions, including as part of the general stress response. The genome of the Gram-positive human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae harbors several putative TA systems, including yefM-yoeBSpn, which is one of four systems that had been demonstrated to be biologically functional. Overexpression of the yoeBSpn toxin gene resulted in cell stasis and eventually cell death in its native host, as well as in Escherichia coli. Our previous work showed that induced expression of a yoeBSpn toxin-Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP fusion gene apparently triggered apoptosis and was lethal in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effects of co-expression of the yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic A. thaliana. When co-expressed in Arabidopsis, the YefMSpn antitoxin was found to neutralize the toxicity of YoeBSpn-GFP. Interestingly, the inducible expression of both yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic hybrid Arabidopsis resulted in larger rosette leaves and taller plants with a higher number of inflorescence stems and increased silique production. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a prokaryotic antitoxin neutralizing its cognate toxin in plant cells.

  6. CAUSE OF IMMEDIATE DEATH BY LARGE DOSES OF BOTULINUS TOXIN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronfenbrenner, J J; Schlesinger, M J; Orr, P F

    1924-06-30

    Parenteral introduction of amounts of the culture filtrate of Bacillus botulinus greatly in excess of the minimum lethal dose has been observed to cause the practically immediate death of mice. This result is due to the presence in the filtrates of a chemical poison possessing properties distinct from those of the contained botulinus toxin which itself acts only after a well defined period of incubation. This chemical poison is not neutralized by botulinus antitoxin; it is effective only when large amounts of the culture filtrate are given; it is thermostable, not being destroyed when heated in the autoclave in a sealed tube, though when it is heated in an open container its toxicity diminishes with a coincidental volatilization of basic material. The volatile substance can be identified as ammonia. Death resulting from the injection of comparatively large amounts of ammonium salts (0.1 gm.) is easily distinguished from that due to botulism, both through the character of the symptoms and the absence of an incubation period. However, when the amount of toxic salts injected is smaller (0.01 gm.), the symptoms of poisoning are not so characteristic and death may be delayed long enough to suggest a period of incubation similar to that observed in botulism (Table IV). This circumstance is of importance in connection with the examination of partly decomposed food products in which the presence of botulinus toxin is suspected. As a rule such suspected material is injected in massive doses (0.5 to 1 cc.) in mice. It is conceivable that such spoiled foods may be contaminated with common putrefactive bacteria yielding ammonia during their growth and thus may cause death of the test animals. If in such tests mice passively protected by the preliminary injection of an excess of antitoxin be used in addition to normal animals, the chances of an error in the interpretation of the results will be materially reduced, though not ruled out. Unfortunately for such a procedure

  7. Use of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins for control of the cotton pest Earias insulana (Boisd.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibargutxi, María A; Estela, Anna; Ferré, Juan; Caballero, Primitivo

    2006-01-01

    Thirteen of the most common lepidopteran-specific Cry proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis have been tested for their efficacy against newly hatched larvae of two populations of the spiny bollworm, Earias insulana. At a concentration of 100 microg of toxin per milliliter of artificial diet, six Cry toxins (Cry1Ca, Cry1Ea, Cry1Fa, Cry1Ja, Cry2Aa, and Cry2Ab) were not toxic at all. Cry1Aa, Cry1Ja, and Cry2Aa did not cause mortality but caused significant inhibition of growth. The other Cry toxins (Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, Cry1Ba, Cry1Da, Cry1Ia, and Cry9Ca) were toxic to E. insulana larvae. The 50% lethal concentration values of these toxins ranged from 0.39 to 21.13 microg/ml (for Cry9Ca and Cry1Ia, respectively) for an E. insulana laboratory colony originating from Egypt and from 0.20 to 4.25 microg/ml (for Cry9Ca and Cry1Da, respectively) for a laboratory colony originating from Spain. The relative potencies of the toxins in the population from Egypt were highest for Cry9Ca and Cry1Ab, and they were both significantly more toxic than Cry1Ac and Cry1Ba, followed by Cry1Da and finally Cry1Ia. In the population from Spain, Cry9Ca was the most toxic, followed in decreasing order by Cry1Ac and Cry1Ba, and the least toxic was Cry1Da. Binding experiments were performed to test whether the toxic Cry proteins shared binding sites in this insect. 125I-labeled Cry1Ac and Cry1Ab and biotinylated Cry1Ba, Cry1Ia, and Cry9Ca showed specific binding to the brush border membrane vesicles from E. insulana. Competition binding experiments among these toxins showed that only Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac competed for the same binding sites, indicating a high possibility that this insect may develop cross-resistance to Cry1Ab upon exposure to Cry1Ac transgenic cotton but not to the other toxins tested.

  8. Antagonism between Cry1Ac1 and Cyt1A1 toxins of bacillus thuringiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Rincon-Castro MC; Barajas-Huerta; Ibarra

    1999-05-01

    Most strains of the insecticidal bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis have a combination of different protoxins in their parasporal crystals. Some of the combinations clearly interact synergistically, like the toxins present in B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis. In this paper we describe a novel joint activity of toxins from different strains of B. thuringiensis. In vitro bioassays in which we used pure, trypsin-activated Cry1Ac1 proteins from B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, Cyt1A1 from B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, and Trichoplusia ni BTI-Tn5B1-4 cells revealed contrasting susceptibility characteristics. The 50% lethal concentrations (LC50s) were estimated to be 4,967 of Cry1Ac1 per ml of medium and 11.69 ng of Cyt1A1 per ml of medium. When mixtures of these toxins in different proportions were assayed, eight different LC50s were obtained. All of these LC50s were significantly higher than the expected LC50s of the mixtures. In addition, a series of bioassays were performed with late first-instar larvae of the cabbage looper and pure Cry1Ac1 and Cyt1A1 crystals, as well as two different combinations of the two toxins. The estimated mean LC50 of Cry1Ac1 was 2.46 ng/cm2 of diet, while Cyt1A1 crystals exhibited no toxicity, even at very high concentrations. The estimated mean LC50s of Cry1Ac1 crystals were 15.69 and 19.05 ng per cm2 of diet when these crystals were mixed with 100 and 1,000 ng of Cyt1A1 crystals per cm2 of diet, respectively. These results indicate that there is clear antagonism between the two toxins both in vitro and in vivo. Other joint-action analyses corroborated these results. Although this is the second report of antagonism between B. thuringiensis toxins, our evidence is the first evidence of antagonism between toxins from different subspecies of B. thuringiensis (B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki and B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis) detected both in vivo and in vitro. Some possible explanations for this relationship are discussed.

  9. Tidal disruption event demographics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochanek, C. S.

    2016-09-01

    We survey the properties of stars destroyed in tidal disruption events (TDEs) as a function of black hole (BH) mass, stellar mass and evolutionary state, star formation history and redshift. For M_{BH} ≲ 10^7 M_{⊙}, the typical TDE is due to a M* ˜ 0.3 M⊙ M-dwarf, although the mass function is relatively flat for M_{ast } ≲ M_{⊙}. The contribution from older main-sequence stars and sub-giants is small but not negligible. From MBH ≃ 107.5-108.5 M⊙, the balance rapidly shifts to higher mass stars and a larger contribution from evolved stars, and is ultimately dominated by evolved stars at higher BH masses. The star formation history has little effect until the rates are dominated by evolved stars. TDE rates should decline very rapidly towards higher redshifts. The volumetric rate of TDEs is very high because the BH mass function diverges for low masses. However, any emission mechanism which is largely Eddington-limited for low BH masses suppresses this divergence in any observed sample and leads to TDE samples dominated by MBH ≃ 106.0-107.5 M⊙ BHs with roughly Eddington peak accretion rates. The typical fall-back time is relatively long, with 16 per cent having tfb plausible if tfb has any relation to the transient rise time. For almost any BH mass function, systematic searches for fainter, faster time-scale TDEs in smaller galaxies, and longer time-scale TDEs in more massive galaxies are likely to be rewarded.

  10. Interception and disruption

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solem, J.C.

    1995-07-01

    Given sufficient warning we might try to avert a collision with a comet or asteroid by using beamed energy or by using the kinetic energy of an interceptor rocket. If motivated by the opportunity to convert the object into a space asset, perhaps a microgravity mine for construction materials or spacecraft fuels, we might try a rendezvous to implant a propulsion system of some sort. But the most cost-effective means of disruption is a nuclear explosive. In this paper, I discuss optimal tactics for terminal intercept, which can be extended to remote-interdiction scenarios as well. I show that the optimal mass ratio of an interceptor rock carrying a nuclear explosive depends mainly on the ratio of the exhaust velocity to the assailant-object closing velocity. I compare the effectiveness of stand-off detonation, surface burst, and penetration, for both deflection and pulverization, concluding that a penetrator has no clear advantage over a surface-burst device for deflection, but is a distinctly more capable pulverizer. The advantage of a stand-off device is to distribute the impulse more evenly over the surface of the object and to prevent fracture, an event which would greatly complicate the intercept problem. Finally, I present some results of a model for gravitationally bound objects and obtain the maximum non-fracturing deflection speed for a variety of object sizes and structures. For a single engagement, I conclude that the non-fracturing deflection speed obtainable with a stand-off device is about four times the speed obtainable with a surface-burst device. Furthermore, the non-fracturing deflection speed is somewhat dependent on the number of competent components of the object, the speed for a 13 component object being about twice that for a 135 component object.

  11. Shiga Toxins and the Pathophysiology of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Humans and Animals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah J. Stearns-Kurosawa

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Food-borne diseases are estimated at 76 million illnesses and 5000 deaths every year in the United States with the greatest burden on young children, the elderly and immunocompromised populations. The impact of efficient food distribution systems and a truly global food supply ensures that outbreaks, previously sporadic and contained locally, are far more widespread and emerging pathogens have far more frequent infection opportunities. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli is an emerging food- and water-borne pathogen family whose Shiga-like toxins induce painful hemorrhagic colitis with potentially lethal complications of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS. The clinical manifestations of Shiga toxin-induced HUS overlap with other related syndromes yet molecular mechanisms differ considerably. As discussed herein, understanding these differences and the novel properties of the toxins is imperative for clinical management decisions, design of appropriate animal models, and choices of adjunctive therapeutics. The emergence of new strains with rapidly aggressive virulence makes clinical and research initiatives in this field a high public health priority.

  12. Shiga Toxins and the Pathophysiology of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Humans and Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Chad L.; Leibowitz, Caitlin S.; Kurosawa, Shinichiro; Stearns-Kurosawa, Deborah J.

    2012-01-01

    Food-borne diseases are estimated at 76 million illnesses and 5000 deaths every year in the United States with the greatest burden on young children, the elderly and immunocompromised populations. The impact of efficient food distribution systems and a truly global food supply ensures that outbreaks, previously sporadic and contained locally, are far more widespread and emerging pathogens have far more frequent infection opportunities. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli is an emerging food- and water-borne pathogen family whose Shiga-like toxins induce painful hemorrhagic colitis with potentially lethal complications of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The clinical manifestations of Shiga toxin-induced HUS overlap with other related syndromes yet molecular mechanisms differ considerably. As discussed herein, understanding these differences and the novel properties of the toxins is imperative for clinical management decisions, design of appropriate animal models, and choices of adjunctive therapeutics. The emergence of new strains with rapidly aggressive virulence makes clinical and research initiatives in this field a high public health priority. PMID:23202315

  13. Expression, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of recombinant Clostridium perfringens β2-toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gurjar, Abhijit A. [Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science, The Pennsylvania State University (United States); Yennawar, Neela H.; Yennawar, Hemant P. [Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography Facility, The Pennsylvania State University (United States); Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta R. [Argonne National Laboratory (United States); Hegde, Narasimha V.; Jayarao, Bhushan M., E-mail: bmj3@psu.edu [Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science, The Pennsylvania State University (United States)

    2007-06-01

    The cloning, expression, purification and crystallization of recombinant Clostridium perfringens β2-toxin is described. The crystals diffracted to 2.9 Å resolution. Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive sporulating anaerobic bacterium that is responsible for a wide spectrum of diseases in animals, birds and humans. The virulence of C. perfringens is associated with the production of several enterotoxins and exotoxins. β2-toxin is a 28 kDa exotoxin produced by C. perfringens. It is implicated in necrotic enteritis in animals and humans, a disease characterized by a sudden acute onset with lethal hemorrhagic mucosal ulceration. The recombinant expression, purification and crystallization of β2-toxin using the batch-under-oil technique are reported here. Native X-ray diffraction data were obtained to 2.9 Å resolution on a synchrotron beamline at the F2 station at Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) using an ADSC Quantum-210 CCD detector. The crystals belong to space group R3, with a dimer in the asymmetric unit; the unit-cell parameters are a = b = 103.71, c = 193.48 Å, α = β = 90, γ = 120° using the hexagonal axis setting. A self-rotation function shows that the two molecules are related by a noncrystallographic twofold axis with polar angles ω = 90.0, ϕ = 210.3°.

  14. Stabilization of a recombinant ricin toxin A subunit vaccine through lyophilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassett, Kimberly J; Cousins, Megan C; Rabia, Lilia A; Chadwick, Chrystal M; O'Hara, Joanne M; Nandi, Pradyot; Brey, Robert N; Mantis, Nicholas J; Carpenter, John F; Randolph, Theodore W

    2013-10-01

    Lyophilization was used to prepare dry, glassy solid vaccine formulations of recombinant ricin toxin A-chain containing suspensions of colloidal aluminum hydroxide adjuvant. Four lyophilized formulations were prepared by using combinations of rapid or slow cooling during lyophilization and one of two buffers, histidine or ammonium acetate. Trehalose was used as the stabilizing excipient. Aggregation of the colloidal aluminum hydroxide suspension was reduced in formulations processed with a rapid cooling rate. Aluminum hydroxide particle size distributions, glass transition temperatures, water contents, and immunogenicities of lyophilized vaccines were independent of incubation time at 40 °C for up to 15 weeks. Mice immunized with reconstituted ricin toxin subunit A (RTA) vaccines produced RTA-specific antibodies and toxin-neutralizing antibodies (TNAs) regardless of the length of high temperature vaccine storage or the degree of aluminum adjuvant aggregation that occurred during lyophilization. In murine studies, lyophilized formulations of vaccines conferred protection against exposure to lethal doses of ricin, even after the lyophilized formulations had been stored at 40 °C for 4 weeks. A corresponding liquid formulation of vaccine stored at 40 °C elicited RTA-specific antibody titers but failed to confer immunity during a ricin challenge.

  15. Active Shiga-Like Toxin Produced by Some Aeromonas spp., Isolated in Mexico City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma-Martínez, Ingrid; Guerrero-Mandujano, Andrea; Ruiz-Ruiz, Manuel J.; Hernández-Cortez, Cecilia; Molina-López, José; Bocanegra-García, Virgilio; Castro-Escarpulli, Graciela

    2016-01-01

    Shiga-like toxins (Stx) represent a group of bacterial toxins involved in human and animal diseases. Stx is produced by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae type 1, Citrobacter freundii, and Aeromonas spp.; Stx is an important cause of bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The aim of this study was to identify the stx1/stx2 genes in clinical strains and outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) of Aeromonas spp., 66 strains were isolated from children who live in Mexico City, and Stx effects were evaluated in Vero cell cultures. The capacity to express active Stx1 and Stx2 toxins was determined in Vero cell cultures and the concentration of Stx was evaluated by 50% lethal dose (LD50) assays, observing inhibition of damaged cells by specific monoclonal antibodies. The results obtained in this study support the hypothesis that the stx gene is another putative virulence factor of Aeromonas, and since this gene can be transferred horizontally through OMVs this genus should be included as a possible causal agents of gastroenteritis and it should be reported as part of standard health surveillance procedures. Furthermore, these results indicate that the Aeromonas genus might be a potential causative agent of HUS. PMID:27725813

  16. Ciprofloxacin causes persister formation by inducing the TisB toxin in Escherichia coli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Dörr

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria induce stress responses that protect the cell from lethal factors such as DNA-damaging agents. Bacterial populations also form persisters, dormant cells that are highly tolerant to antibiotics and play an important role in recalcitrance of biofilm infections. Stress response and dormancy appear to represent alternative strategies of cell survival. The mechanism of persister formation is unknown, but isolated persisters show increased levels of toxin/antitoxin (TA transcripts. We have found previously that one or more components of the SOS response induce persister formation after exposure to a DNA-damaging antibiotic. The SOS response induces several TA genes in Escherichia coli. Here, we show that a knockout of a particular SOS-TA locus, tisAB/istR, had a sharply decreased level of persisters tolerant to ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic that causes DNA damage. Step-wise administration of ciprofloxacin induced persister formation in a tisAB-dependent manner, and cells producing TisB toxin were tolerant to multiple antibiotics. TisB is a membrane peptide that was shown to decrease proton motive force and ATP levels, consistent with its role in forming dormant cells. These results suggest that a DNA damage-induced toxin controls production of multidrug tolerant cells and thus provide a model of persister formation.

  17. One cannot rule them all: Are bacterial toxins-antitoxins druggable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Wai Ting; Balsa, Dolors; Espinosa, Manuel

    2015-07-01

    Type II (proteic) toxin-antitoxin (TA) operons are widely spread in bacteria and archaea. They are organized as operons in which, usually, the antitoxin gene precedes the cognate toxin gene. The antitoxin generally acts as a transcriptional self-repressor, whereas the toxin acts as a co-repressor, both proteins constituting a harmless complex. When bacteria encounter a stressful environment, TAs are triggered. The antitoxin protein is unstable and will be degraded by host proteases, releasing the free toxin to halt essential processes. The result is a cessation of cell growth or even death. Because of their ubiquity and the essential processes targeted, TAs have been proposed as good candidates for development of novel antimicrobials. We discuss here the possible druggability of TAs as antivirals and antibacterials, with focus on the potentials and the challenges that their use may find in the 'real' world. We present strategies to develop TAs as antibacterials in view of novel technologies, such as the use of very small molecules (fragments) as inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. Appropriate fragments could disrupt the T:A interfaces leading to the release of the targeted TA pair. Possible ways of delivery and formulation of Tas are also discussed. © FEMS 2015.

  18. The assembly dynamics of the cytolytic pore toxin ClyA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benke, Stephan; Roderer, Daniel; Wunderlich, Bengt; Nettels, Daniel; Glockshuber, Rudi; Schuler, Benjamin

    2015-02-01

    Pore-forming toxins are protein assemblies used by many organisms to disrupt the membranes of target cells. They are expressed as soluble monomers that assemble spontaneously into multimeric pores. However, owing to their complexity, the assembly processes have not been resolved in detail for any pore-forming toxin. To determine the assembly mechanism for the ring-shaped, homododecameric pore of the bacterial cytolytic toxin ClyA, we collected a diverse set of kinetic data using single-molecule spectroscopy and complementary techniques on timescales from milliseconds to hours, and from picomolar to micromolar ClyA concentrations. The entire range of experimental results can be explained quantitatively by a surprisingly simple mechanism. First, addition of the detergent n-dodecyl-β-D-maltopyranoside to the soluble monomers triggers the formation of assembly-competent toxin subunits, accompanied by the transient formation of a molten-globule-like intermediate. Then, all sterically compatible oligomers contribute to assembly, which greatly enhances the efficiency of pore formation compared with simple monomer addition.

  19. Electrochemical characterization of pore formation by bacterial protein toxins on hybrid supported membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkop, Thomas; Xu, Danke; Cheng, Quan

    2008-05-20

    The interaction of pore-forming streptolysin O (SLO) with biomimetic lipid membranes has been studied by electrochemical methods. Phosphatidylcholine lipid vesicles were deposited onto gold electrodes modified with supporting layers of hexyl thioctate (HT) or thioctic acid tri(ethylene glycol) ester (TA-TEGE), and integrity and permeability of the resulting membranes were characterized by cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy. Both positively and negatively charged electrochemical probes, potassium ferrocyanide, hexaammineruthenium(III) chloride, and ferrocene carboxylic acid (FCA), were employed to evaluate their suitability to probe the membrane permeability properties, with FCA exhibiting ideal behavior and thus employed throughout the work. Fusion of vesicles incubated with SLO on the electrodes yielded membranes that showed a distinctive response pattern for FCA as a function of SLO concentration. A direct dependence of both the currents and peak separation of FCA in the cyclic voltammograms was observed over a concentration range of 0-10 hemolytic units (HU)/microL of the toxin. The interaction of SLO with preformed supported lipid membranes was also investigated, and much lower response was observed, suggesting a different extent of membrane-toxin interactions on such an interface. Nonionic surfactant Triton was found to disrupt the vesicle structure but could not completely remove a preformed membrane to fully restore the electrode response. The information reported here offers some unique insight into toxin-surface interactions on a hybrid membrane, facilitating the development of electrochemically based sensing platforms for detecting trace amounts of bacterial toxins via the perforation process.

  20. Structure determination of an organometallic 1-(diazenylaryl)ethanol: a novel toxin subclass from the web of the spider Nephila clavipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Maurício Ribeiro; Mendes, Maria Anita; Tormena, Cláudio Francisco; Souza, Bibiana M; Ribeiro, Susan P; Rittner, Roberto; Palma, Mario S

    2004-06-01

    A novel chemical subclass of toxin, [1-(3-diazenylphenyl)ethanol]iron, was identified among the compounds present in the web of the spider Nephila clavipes. This type of compound is not common among natural products, mainly in spider-venom toxins; it was shown to be a potent paralytic and/or lethal toxin applied by the spider over its web to ensure prey capture only by topical application. The structure was elucidated by means of ESI mass spectrometry, 1H-NMR spectroscopy, high-resolution (HR) mass spectrometry, and ICP spectrometry. The structure of [1-(3-diazenylphenyl)ethanol]iron and the study of its insecticidal action may be used as a starting point for the development of new drugs for pest control in agriculture.

  1. Extracellular matrix molecules as targets for brown spider venom toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veiga S.S.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Loxoscelism, the term used to describe lesions and clinical manifestations induced by brown spider's venom (Loxosceles genus, has attracted much attention over the last years. Brown spider bites have been reported to cause a local and acute inflammatory reaction that may evolve to dermonecrosis (a hallmark of envenomation and hemorrhage at the bite site, besides systemic manifestations such as thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolysis, and renal failure. The molecular mechanisms by which Loxosceles venoms induce injury are currently under investigation. In this review, we focused on the latest reports describing the biological and physiopathological aspects of loxoscelism, with reference mainly to the proteases recently described as metalloproteases and serine proteases, as well as on the proteolytic effects triggered by L. intermedia venom upon extracellular matrix constituents such as fibronectin, fibrinogen, entactin and heparan sulfate proteoglycan, besides the disruptive activity of the venom on Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm basement membranes. Degradation of these extracellular matrix molecules and the observed disruption of basement membranes could be related to deleterious activities of the venom such as loss of vessel and glomerular integrity and spreading of the venom toxins to underlying tissues.

  2. Acute and sub-lethal exposure to copper oxide nanoparticles causes oxidative stress and teratogenicity in zebrafish embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesan, Santhanamari; Anaimalai Thirumurthi, Naveenkumar; Raghunath, Azhwar; Vijayakumar, Savitha; Perumal, Ekambaram

    2016-04-01

    Nano-copper oxides are a versatile inorganic material. As a result of their versatility, the immense applications and usage end up in the environment causing a concern for the lifespan of various beings. The ambiguities surround globally on the toxic effects of copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO-NPs). Hence, the present study endeavored to study the sub-lethal acute exposure effects on the developing zebrafish embryos. The 48 hpf LC50 value was about 64 ppm. Therefore, we have chosen the sub-lethal dose of 40 and 60 ppm for the study. Accumulation of CuO-NPs was evidenced from the SEM-EDS and AAS analyzes. The alterations in the AChE and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activities disrupted the development process. An increment in the levels of oxidants with a concomitant decrease in the antioxidant enzymes confirmed the induction of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress triggered apoptosis in the exposed embryos. Developmental anomalies were observed with CuO-NPs exposure in addition to oxidative stress in the developing embryos. Decreased heart rate and hatching delay hindered the normal developmental processes. Our work has offered valuable data on the connection between oxidative stress and teratogenicity leading to lethality caused by CuO-NPs. A further molecular mechanism unraveling the uncharted connection between oxidative stress and teratogenicity will aid in the safe use of CuO-NPs.

  3. Evaluation of antidiphtheria toxin nanobodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghada H Shaker

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Ghada H ShakerDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaAbstract: Nanobodies are the smallest fragments of naturally occurring single-domain antibodies that have evolved to be fully functional in the absence of a light chain. Conventional antibodies are glycoproteins comprising two heavy and two light chains. Surprisingly, all members of the Camelidae family possess a fraction of antibodies devoid of both light chains and the first constant domain. These types of antibodies are known as heavy-chain antibody (HcAb nanobodies. There are three subclasses of IgG in dromedaries, namely IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 of which IgG2 and IgG3 are of the HcAb type. These heavy chain antibodies constitute approximately 50% of the IgG in llama serum and as much as 75% of the IgG in camel serum. In the present work, the different IgG subclasses from an immunized camel (Camelus dromedarius with divalent diphtheria-tetanus vaccine were purified using their different affinity for protein A and protein G and their absorbance measured at 280 nm. Purity control and characterization by 12% sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of IgG subclasses was done under reducing conditions. Protein bands were visualized after staining with Coomassie Blue, showing two bands at 50 kDa and 30 kDa for IgG1, while IgG2 and IgG3 produced only one band at 46 kDa and 43 kDa, respectively. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test using diphtheria toxin and purified IgG subclasses from the immunized camel were performed to evaluate their efficiency. Compared with conventional IgG1, heavy chain antibodies (nanobodies were shown to be more efficient in binding to diphtheria toxin antigen. This study revealed the possibility of using IgG2 and IgG3 nanobodies as an effective antitoxin for the treatment of diphtheria in humans.Keywords: camel, heavy chain antibody, HcAb, nanobodies, immunoglobulin, Ig

  4. Bacterial toxins for cancer treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Johansson, David

    2008-01-01

    Even though anti‐cancer chemotherapy has been continuously improved during the last decades. problems with adverse effects and drug resistance still constitutes a considerable obstacle and sets a demand for new effective treatment options. Tissue homeostasis in multi‐cellular organisms is maintained through intrinsic cell death, apoptosis, which removes unwanted or damaged cells. Disrupted apoptosis is an important factor in tumorgenesis and drug resistance, therefore induction or restoration...

  5. Single toxin dose-response models revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaholt, SP; Kyker-Snowman, E; Shaw, JR; Chen, CY

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to offer a rigorous analysis of the sigmoid shape single toxin dose-response relationship. The toxin efficacy function is introduced and four special points, including maximum toxin efficacy and inflection points, on the dose-response curve are defined. The special points define three phases of the toxin effect on mortality: (1) toxin concentrations smaller than the first inflection point or (2) larger then the second inflection point imply low mortality rate, and (3) concentrations between the first and the second inflection points imply high mortality rate. Probabilistic interpretation and mathematical analysis for each of four models, Hill, logit, probit, and Weibull is provided. Two general model extensions are introduced: (1) the multi-target hit model that accounts for the existence of several vital receptors affected by the toxin, and (2) model with a nonzero mortality at zero concentration to account for natural mortality. Special attention is given to statistical estimation in the framework of the generalized linear model with the binomial dependent variable as the mortality count in each experiment, contrary to the widespread nonlinear regression treating the mortality rate as continuous variable. The models are illustrated using standard EPA Daphnia acute (48 hours) toxicity tests with mortality as a function of NiCl or CuSO4 toxin. PMID:27847315

  6. A mechanism of cell death involving an adenylyl cyclase/PKA signaling pathway is induced by the Cry1Ab toxin of Bacillus thuringiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xuebin; Candas, Mehmet; Griko, Natalya B.; Taussig, Ronald; Bulla, Lee A.

    2006-01-01

    Many pathogenic organisms and their toxins target host cell receptors, the consequence of which is altered signaling events that lead to aberrant activity or cell death. A significant body of literature describes various molecular and cellular aspects of toxins associated with bacterial invasion, colonization, and host cell disruption. However, there is little information on the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with the insecticidal action of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry toxins. Recently, we reported that the Cry1Ab toxin produced by Bt kills insect cells by activating a Mg2+-dependent cytotoxic event upon binding of the toxin to its receptor BT-R1. Here we show that binding of Cry toxin to BT-R1 provokes cell death by activating a previously undescribed signaling pathway involving stimulation of G protein (Gαs) and adenylyl cyclase, increased cAMP levels, and activation of protein kinase A. Induction of the adenylyl cyclase/protein kinase A pathway is manifested by sequential cytological changes that include membrane blebbing, appearance of ghost nuclei, cell swelling, and lysis. The discovery of a toxin-induced cell death pathway specifically linked to BT-R1 in insect cells should provide insights into how insects evolve resistance to Bt and into the development of new, safer insecticides. PMID:16788061

  7. Tidal disruption of inviscid protoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boss, Alan P.; Cameron, A. G. W.; Benz, W.

    1991-01-01

    Roche showed that equilibrium is impossible for a small fluid body synchronously orbiting a primary within a critical radius now termed the Roche limit. Tidal disruption of orbitally unbound bodies is a potentially important process for planetary formation through collisional accumulation, because the area of the Roche limit is considerably larger then the physical cross section of a protoplanet. Several previous studies were made of dynamical tidal disruption and different models of disruption were proposed. Because of the limitation of these analytical models, we have used a smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code to model the tidal disruption process. The code is basically the same as the one used to model giant impacts; we simply choose impact parameters large enough to avoid collisions. The primary and secondary both have iron cores and silicate mantles, and are initially isothermal at a molten temperature. The conclusions based on the analytical and numerical models are summarized.

  8. Vortex disruption by magnetohydrodynamic feedback

    CERN Document Server

    Mak, Julian; Hughes, D W

    2016-01-01

    In an electrically conducting fluid, vortices stretch out a weak, large-scale magnetic field to form strong current sheets on their edges. Associated with these current sheets are magnetic stresses, which are subsequently released through reconnection, leading to vortex disruption, and possibly even destruction. This disruption phenomenon is investigated here in the context of two-dimensional, homogeneous, incompressible magnetohydrodynamics. We derive a simple order of magnitude estimate for the magnetic stresses --- and thus the degree of disruption --- that depends on the strength of the background magnetic field (measured by the parameter $M$, a ratio between the Alfv\\'en speed and a typical flow speed) and on the magnetic diffusivity (measured by the magnetic Reynolds number $\\mbox{Rm}$). The resulting estimate suggests that significant disruption occurs when $M^{2}\\mbox{Rm} = O(1)$. To test our prediction, we analyse direct numerical simulations of vortices generated by the breakup of unstable shear flo...

  9. Ultrasonic disruption of algae cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, P. M.; Nowotarski, K.; Joyce, E. M.; Mason, T. J.

    2012-05-01

    During last decade there has been increasing interest in the production of sustainable fuels from microalgae (R.H. Wijffels and M.J. Barbosa, 2010; Singh et al 2011; D.H. Lee 2011). The aim of this project was to determine if algal cells can be ultrasonically disrupted to release lipids for biofuel production. Ultrasonic disruption of two unicellular algal species: Dunnaliella salina and Nannochloropsis oculata was investigated using a 20 kHz probe. Haemocytometer, optical density, UV-Vis, fluoro-spectrophotometer and confocal microscopy results demonstrated complete cell destruction of Dunaliella salina within 16 minutes of sonication. Results obtained for Nannochloropsis oculata differed in that ultrasound dispersed clumped cells with little or no cell disruption, as observed by haemocytometer and confocal microscopy analysis. However, UV-Visible and fluoro-spectrophotometer analysis indicated chlorophyll release following sonication, suggesting some cell disruption had occurred.

  10. Neurotoxicity of Thyroid Disrupting Contaminants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thyroid hormones playa critical role in the normal development ofthe mammalian brain. Thyroid disrupting chemicals (TDCs) are environmental contaminants that alter the structure or function ofthe thyroid gland, alter regulatory enzymes associated with thyroid hormone (TH) homeost...

  11. Persistent forecasting of disruptive technologies

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies; National Research Council

    ...) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) tasked the Committee for Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies with providing guidance and insight on how to build a persistent forecasting system to predict, analyze, and reduce the impact...

  12. Botulinum toxin: yesterday, today, tomorrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Artemenko

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin (BoNT is a bacterial neurotoxin presented with seven serotypes that inhibit neurotransmitter release from nerve endings. The serotypes of BoNT are antigenically dissimilar, act via different, but interconnected mechanisms, and are not interchangeable. The activity of BoNT is associated with impaired neuroexocytosis occurring in several steps: from the binding of BoNT to its specific receptor on the axon terminal membrane to the proteolytic enzymatic cleavage of SNARE substrate. The effect of BoNT is considered to be restricted to the peripheral nervous system, but when given in particularly high doses, it has been recently shown to affect individual brain structures. In addition, by modulating peripheral afferentation, BoNT may influence the excitability of central neuronal structures at both spinal and cortical levels. Only BoNT serotypes A and B are used in clinical practice and aesthetic medicine. The type A has gained the widest acceptance as a therapeutic agent for more than 100 abnormalities manifesting themselves as muscular hyperactivity, hyperfunction of endocrine gland, and chronic pain. The effect of BoNT preparations shows itself 2-5 days after injection, lasts 3 months or more, and gradually decreases with as a result of pharmacokinetic and intracellular reparative processes. Biotechnology advances and potentialities allow purposefully modification of the protein molecular structure of BoNT, which expands the use and efficiency of performed therapy with neurotoxins. Recombinant technologies provide a combination of major therapeutic properties of each used BoNT serotype and expand indications for recombinant chimeric toxins.

  13. Pathology of lethal and sublethal doses of aerosolized ricin in rhesus macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhaskaran, Manoj; Didier, Peter J; Sivasubramani, Satheesh K; Doyle, Lara A; Holley, Jane; Roy, Chad J

    2014-01-01

    Ricin toxin, a type 2 ribosome-inactivating protein and a category B bioterrorism agent, is produced from the seeds of castor oil plant (Ricinus communis). Chronic pathological changes in survivors of aerosolized ricin exposure have not been reported in primates. Here we compare and contrast the pathological changes manifested between rhesus macaques (RM) that succumbed to lethal dose of ricin (group I) and survivor RM exposed to low dose of ricin (group II). All animals in group I exhibited severe diffuse, necrotizing bronchiolitis and alveolitis with fibrinopurulent bronchointerstitial pneumonia, massive alveolar, perivascular and peribronchial/bronchiolar edema with hemorrhage, and necropurulent and hemorrhagic tracheobronchial lymphadenitis. All animals from group II had multifocal, fibrosing interstitial pneumonia with prominent alveolar histiocytosis and type II pneumocyte hyperplasia. Subacute changes like infiltration by lymphocytes and plasma cells and persistence of edematous fluid were occasionally present in lung and tracheobronchial lymph nodes. The changes appear to be a continuum wherein the inflammatory response shifts from an acute to subacute/chronic reparative process if the animals can survive the initial insult.

  14. Construction of a trivalent candidate Shigella vaccine strain with host-vector balanced-lethal system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    芮贤良; 徐永强; 吴旭东; 苏国富; 黄翠芬

    1997-01-01

    A trivalent live Shigella vaccine candidate FSD01 against S. flexneri 2a, S. sonnei and S. dysen-teriae I was constructed. This candidate strain was based on the S. flexneri 2a vaccine T32. By homologous recombi-nation exchange, the chromosomal asd gene of T32 was site-specifically inactivated, resulting in the strain unable to grow normally in LB broth, while another asd gene of S. mutans was employed to construct an Asd complementary vector. This combination of asd ’host/ Asd+ vector formed a balanced-lethal expression system in T32 strain. By use of this system, two important protective antigen genes coding for S. sonnei Form I antigen and Shiga toxin B subunit were cloned and expressed in T32, which led to the construction of trivalent candidate vaccine FSD01. Experimental results showed that this strain was genetically stable, but its recombinant plasmid was non-resistant. Moreover, it was able to effectively express trivalent antigens in one host and induce protective responses in mice against the

  15. Lethal neonatal meningoencephalitis caused by multi-drug resistant, highly virulent Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iqbal, Junaid; Dufendach, Kevin R; Wellons, John C; Kuba, Maria G; Nickols, Hilary H; Gómez-Duarte, Oscar G; Wynn, James L

    2016-01-01

    Neonatal meningitis is a rare but devastating condition. Multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria represent a substantial global health risk. This study reports on an aggressive case of lethal neonatal meningitis due to a MDR Escherichia coli (serotype O75:H5:K1). Serotyping, MDR pattern and phylogenetic typing revealed that this strain is an emergent and highly virulent neonatal meningitis E. coli isolate. The isolate was resistant to both ampicillin and gentamicin; antibiotics currently used for empiric neonatal sepsis treatment. The strain was also positive for multiple virulence genes including K1 capsule, fimbrial adhesion fimH, siderophore receptors iroN, fyuA and iutA, secreted autotransporter toxin sat, membrane associated proteases ompA and ompT, type II polysaccharide synthesis genes (kpsMTII) and pathogenicity-associated island (PAI)-associated malX gene. The presence of highly-virulent MDR organisms isolated in neonates underscores the need to implement rapid drug resistance diagnostic methods and should prompt consideration of alternate empiric therapy in neonates with Gram negative meningitis.

  16. Solution structure of robustoxin, the lethal neurotoxin from the funnel-web spider Atrax robustus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallaghy, P K; Alewood, D; Alewood, P F; Norton, R S

    1997-12-15

    The solution structure of robustoxin, the lethal neurotoxin from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus, has been determined from 2D 1H NMR data. Robustoxin is a polypeptide of 42 residues cross-linked by four disulphide bonds, the connectivities of which were determined from NMR data and trial structure calculations to be 1-15, 8-20, 14-31 and 16-42 (a 1-4/2-6/3-7/5-8 pattern). The structure consists of a small three-stranded, anti-parallel beta-sheet and a series of interlocking gamma-turns at the C-terminus. It also contains a cystine knot, thus placing it in the inhibitor cystine knot motif family of structures, which includes the omega-conotoxins and a number of plant and animal toxins and protease inhibitors. Robustoxin contains three distinct charged patches on its surface, and an extended loop that includes several aromatic and non-polar residues. Both of these structural features may play a role in its binding to the voltage-gated sodium channel.

  17. 1H NMR study of robustoxin, the lethal neurotoxin from the funnel web spider Atrax robustus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temple, M D; Hinds, M G; Sheumack, D D; Howden, M E; Norton, R S

    1999-03-01

    Robustoxin, the lethal neurotoxin from the Sydney funnel web spider Atrax robustus, is a polypeptide of 42 residues cross-linked by four disulfide bonds. This paper describes the sequence-specific assignment of resonances in the 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectrum of robustoxin in aqueous solution. Several broad backbone amide resonances were encountered in spectra recorded at 27 degrees C, making the assignments at that temperature incomplete. In spectra recorded at lower temperatures these amide resonances became sharper, but others that were sharp at 27 degrees C became broad, indicative of conformational averaging on the millisecond timescale for certain regions of the structure. Nevertheless, it was possible to establish that robustoxin contains a small, triple-stranded, antiparallel beta-sheet and several reverse turns, but no alpha-helix. These observations indicate that this toxin may adopt the inhibitor cystine knot structure found in polypeptides from a diverse range of species, including a number of spiders. Analysis of the pH dependence of the spectrum yielded pKa values for Tyr22 and Tyr25, one of the three carboxyl groups, and the Lys residues.

  18. Disruptive innovation: the demand side.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havighurst, Clark C

    2008-01-01

    The notion of disruptive innovation provides a welcome framework for considering the prospects for low-cost alternatives in American medicine. Such innovations as have been seen, however, are largely the result of demand by patients paying their own bills because they have high-deductible coverage or are uninsured. Many other cost-saving innovations are discouraged by financing systems that are themselves largely immune to competition from disruptive innovators.

  19. Clostridium perfringens type A–E toxin plasmids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedman, John C.; Theoret, James R.; Wisniewski, Jessica A.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.; McClane, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens relies upon plasmid-encoded toxin genes to cause intestinal infections. These toxin genes are associated with insertion sequences that may facilitate their mobilization and transfer, giving rise to new toxin plasmids with common backbones. Most toxin plasmids carry a transfer of clostridial plasmids locus mediating conjugation, which likely explains the presence of similar toxin plasmids in otherwise unrelated C. perfringens strains. The association of many toxin genes with insertion sequences and conjugative plasmids provides virulence flexibility when causing intestinal infections. However, incompatibility issues apparently limit the number of toxin plasmids maintained by a single cell. PMID:25283728

  20. Venomics of Tropidolaemus wagleri, the sexually dimorphic temple pit viper: Unveiling a deeply conserved atypical toxin arsenal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Choo Hock; Tan, Kae Yi; Yap, Michelle Khai Khun; Tan, Nget Hong

    2017-02-27

    Tropidolaemus wagleri (temple pit viper) is a medically important snake in Southeast Asia. It displays distinct sexual dimorphism and prey specificity, however its venomics and inter-sex venom variation have not been thoroughly investigated. Applying reverse-phase HPLC, we demonstrated that the venom profiles were not significantly affected by sex and geographical locality (Peninsular Malaya, insular Penang, insular Sumatra) of the snakes. Essentially, venoms of both sexes share comparable intravenous median lethal dose (LD50) (0.56-0.63 μg/g) and cause neurotoxic envenomation in mice. LCMS/MS identified six waglerin forms as the predominant lethal principles, comprising 38.2% of total venom proteins. Fourteen other toxin-protein families identified include phospholipase A2, serine proteinase, snaclec and metalloproteinase. In mice, HPLC fractions containing these proteins showed insignificant contribution to the overall venom lethality. Besides, the unique elution pattern of approximately 34.5% of non-lethal, low molecular mass proteins (3-5 kDa) on HPLC could be potential biomarker for this primitive crotalid species. Together, the study unveiled the venom proteome of T. wagleri that is atypical among many pit vipers as it comprises abundant neurotoxic peptides (waglerins) but little hemotoxic proteinases. The findings also revealed that the venom is relatively well conserved intraspecifically despite the drastic morphological differences between sexes.